When Is “Faith” Real?

By Franklin Pearce

Word of the Day

Faith

Much of what I see as being purported as “faith” today is nothing more than superstition. In our human minds we have conjured up the idea that “faith” is some sort of magic wand that we use to get “our needs” met. That “faith” is our way of getting heaven to bow to us as lords and forget that we are the servant. That “faith” is some mystical “pie-in-the-sky” idea that we just talk about simply because we are “Christians” and are “supposed” to have. That “faith” is our way of “getting ahead” in life. That “faith” applies only to our becoming “comfortable” financially in life. That “faith” protects us for “being victims” in life and will not allow us to go through life’s painful experiences.

All of the above is nothing more than superstition and have no resemblance to the Bible’s description of “faith”. “Faith” has no part in any of the above. “Faith” only applies in our obedient response to the Words of the Living God.

First of all, a “faith” that has not been severely tested is not real(Abraham sacrificing his “only” son; Gen.22:1-14). I hear folks talking about how “I trust God”. That is admirable, but not the point. The real issue here is, “does God trust me?” You see, only when “faith” has been tested by fire is it real. There must be that time when God brings that severe storm into my life to see how I will respond. Will I go all to pieces? Will I turn to the world to solve my problem? Will I run from the storm? Will I use my ingenuity to escape from the storm? Or will I bow to the God of Heaven, cast myself upon Him and obey His Word?

Apart from testing or chastening, there is no other way to prove that I belong to God(Heb.12:5-11). And until I have been severely tested, I will never learn what God is trying to teach me. Apart from chastening or testing, God will never get through my stubborn self-centered will. It is only when the husk of a seed is broken that life can ever spring forth. An acorn’s outer shell must be broken before that mighty oak will ever become a reality. The same applies to my life.

One of the many reasons Jesus Christ rose from the grave is that He might live His resurrected Life, not so much IN me, but THROUGH me. And it is only when He has broken that wall of pride and selfishness that I use to cloak myself with, will He be able to shine His resurrected Light through my life. That outer hard shell of ME just has to be broken, and only God knows how to do that.

We “Christians” rush to use Romans 8:28 when crises come our way in life. “O, God will not put more on me than I can bear.” Well, yes, but there are three things that we forget. One is that we can bear far more than we think we can, or that we WANT to, bear. Another thing we overlook is that God not only GIVES us strength to stand, HE IS our Strength. So when these crises come, if we turn to Him, and not to ourselves, He intervenes with Himself to carry us through.

But, the third thing is the most important of all. When these things come upon us, we turn to Romans 8:28, but leave out verse 29, which is the object of verse 28. God’s purpose in our lives is that we “…be conformed into the image of His Son…”, and only suffering can carry that out(Heb.5:8,9). So if it took suffering for Jesus, just what is it going to take for me?

“Faith” will only be perfected in us by these “storms” of life, many of which are very painful and costly(Acts 27:14-44). So do I want a carefree life of ease, or do I want to “…take up my Cross, and follow Him(understanding that the Cross means death)…”(Matt.16:24)? Is what God desires to accomplish in my life important and valuable enough to me that I would want Him to test my so-called “faith”, to prove me and ultimately find that He really can trust me?

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