It is easy to see the challenges in our lives. It can be difficult at times to see an invisible God. The Bible reminds us that the solution is faith. It is the need to trust God to keep His promises to me. So, let me ask you to ask yourself this question again, “Do I believe God is faithful to me?”
I am sure that most followers of Jesus will respond, of course I trust God. Let me ask you, are you sure? How would you respond to possible life situations? How would you respond if you lost a loved one? What about if it was a spouse, a child or a parent? What about if you lost your job? What about if you were diagnosed with a terminal medical condition? What about if your car broke down and you do not have the money on hand to get it fixed? The natural response to these kind of difficulties is questioning, “Why?” “Why is this happening to me?” You may even ask, “God, why is this happening to me?”
I have personally found that the greatest source of strength is to reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past. I do not believe questioning God is wrong. There is a point however when we cross the line into unbelief. I am reminded of Paul admonition to the believers in Corinth. “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) You may have heard this familiar verse before. What is interesting about this reminder to keep our eyes on God is it is in the context of living through the challenges of life.
The prior verse speaks of the challenges of living in this world. He reminds us that we can be of good courage. “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,”(2 Corinthians 5:6) It is especially during those difficult times that we desire to be done with this world. It would be so much better to be with the Lord in His presence. Now, that day is coming, but God has a plan for your life. The source of Paul’s good courage is trust in God. A trust founded on God’s character.
Recently on a return flight to the Northwest I was caught off guard riding the airport subway. I was distracted and not holding on when it lurched forward. I took a little stumble before grabbing onto the handrail. The handrail provided stability for the ride. I find it helpful to think of God as my handrail to hold onto during those surging times that come into all our lives.
The handrail is being reminded of God’s faithfulness to me in the past. The struggles of the past become strength for the current situation. The only way that we can grow in faith (or trust) is by being challenged. The simple truth is faith builds more faith.
Just because God is invisible does not mean that he is inactive or uninterested in your life. In fact just the opposite is true. Yet, we do not see the full extent of his involvement in our lives. If you are going through a tough time, let me encourage you to take a moment to reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past. The words from the hymn come to mind, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done!” And it will build your faith in God as well.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson