Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Faith, No Matter What

With the many situations we deal with in this world, it is easy to feel that there is no hope. There are times when we will feel like it is better to quit rather than continue on. It's at these times when our faith seems to take a dive and our skepticism rises. What is the most common misconception about faith? I believe that the most common misunderstanding is that faith is based on personal comfort.

One of the best examples of faith is the story of Job. This book tells of a man named Job who loved the Lord and shunned evil. Satan went to God and told Him that He should allow him to try to make Job's faith fail. God knew that Job was a God-fearing man and allowed Satan to do so. There was a catch though; Satan could not kill Job. Satan took away all of Job's wealth and his family, and also caused him to be covered with painful boils from head to toe. They were so painful, Job had to scratch his skin with a piece of broken pottery!

You would think that with all that was going on, Job would have thrown up his hands and given up on God and his faith, but the complete opposite happened. Take a look at Job 2:9-10:

His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said."
Not only had Job lost everything that he had, but his wife was telling him to give up on God and die! I don't know about you, but with such pressure to take the easy way out, I might have done so. Job was faithful to God and told his wife that we shouldn't only accept good from God, but also trouble.

Job's faith was not based on his personal comfort; he was miserable yet he still kept his faith. It wasn't until later in the book of Job that he questioned why the things happened to him. Job's friend's told Job that the reason why he was suffering was because of something bad that he had done. They told Job that those who do good never suffer but those who do bad will reap what they sow. In Job 6:28-30 we see Job telling his friends that they were wrong in their assumptions; but, because of his friend's wrongful assumptions, Job began to wonder if life was even worth living!

After a lot of complaining and arguing with his friends, Job finally asked God to answer him. God, in all His wisdom, did something much better than answer Job's questions, He asked him questions. The questions that God asked Job gave him an awesome illustration of how powerful God really is (see Job 38-41). Job finally repented and because of His faith, God restored his fortunes. In fact, He gave Job twice as much as before! Job finally understood that it is better to know God rather than knowing the answers to our trials.

While many times we do get punished because of the bad things we do, every trial that is sent our way is not because of something that we've done wrong; it could be so that we can become stronger and closer to God. When you find yourself in a situation where you are close to giving up on your faith, don't curse God and give up, trust Him and use the strength that only He can provide. Realize that God is all-knowing and that His plan is perfect. No matter how much we think we know what we need, God always knows so much more. Remind yourself that we can't just accept the good from God, but we must also accept the hard times that He uses to bring us closer to Him. Don't allow your feelings to determine your faith, rather, strengthen your faith and allow it to guide you to God's amazing power that will see you through anything.


Anonymous said...

aw thanks collin! =) i don't know about that, changing churchs? its the church i grew up in. i know everybody and i feel cofty in it. i guess im just not getting nething out of it...or gotta actually listen. i mean REALLY listening. but i thanks for the truth! oh and if i were to start an agrument w/ u...u would prob. win;)

Anonymous said...

i accednelty left out...
i understand it better.
much better. im guessing Kristen showed u my site? or u just randomly found it....idk it doesn't really matter. but hey. gotta go study for finals! whawhoo..not.
<333 once again.