CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
By Rita Knight
Even Christians sometimes have trouble keeping the faith when challenges come up. To understand why, we must understand just what faith is. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." But when trouble shows up, some of us just forget to have faith. Since we cannot see it, it can go by the wayside as we look to ourselves to solve the problem. Or we may begin with strong faith, but as time goes by and the trouble continues, we start to doubt that God will do what He has promised. Doubting involves believing what we think, see, or feel rather than what we know God has said. It is normal for us to question or doubt when we are overwhelmed by a distressing event.
Even if we have trusted the Lord for many years, certain things may cause our faith to waver:
* Say something goes against our human understanding. A good example is Peter's walking on water. Our human side knows we cannot walk on water but faith says, "with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," (Matthew 19:24). So we, like Peter, start out walking on water. But as soon as Peter took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves, his faith faltered and he started sinking. Like him, when we take our eyes off Jesus we falter.
* Often we allow our feelings to overcome faith. When God wants us to do something, He will supply us with whatever we need even when it seems impossible. But if we let our fear cause us to doubt, we may miss the opportunity. After all we are called to live by faith not fear.
* Sometimes we falter because we don't see God in the circumstances. Because the Lord has promised to take care of us, we think He should work the way we want. When He doesn't, we feel that God is not in our painful or difficult situation — but He always is. In Romans 8:28 it says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose."
* Sometimes we listen to people who are negative (Psalm 1). Some people will tell us what we want to hear instead of telling us to seek the Lord's direction through prayer (2 Timothy 4:3).
* Sometimes we pay attention to the circumstances instead of God. Little problems can become huge when we let them overtake our thoughts and we falter. Instead we should remember the verse in 1 Corinthians 10:13: "and God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."
Even Christians can falter — after all we are human. But in every circumstance, we also can see that if we will just trust our faith in God, He will take care of us. Just as it says in Proverbs 3:5: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." So if we will trust Him to take care of us instead of trying to do it on our own, He will make us stronger. "...God will meet your needs," (Philippians 4:19). We should just ask the Lord for help — "ask and it will be given to you," (Matthew 7:7). He will give us strength as we read our Bible and pray more, and we will get closer and falter less. As He said in Hebrews 13:5, "Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you."
Image Credit: massaoud; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | Hardships
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