“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Faith is dynamic–ever-growing through trials, sorrows, hardships, and the everyday challenges of life. Faith is based on the child-like belief that if Mommy or Daddy said it, then they believe it.
Throughout the Old Testament, God performed many supernatural miracles based on a prayer of faith. We must know [and believe in] God’s promises found in the Scriptures to receive Divine Intervention. God’s promises are for His believers. The human effort of knowledge, obedience, and faith enables us to live a worry-free life.
So, if faith is that simplistic, why do we suffer from anxiety, fear, and frustration? Answer: We have accepted and adopted the world-view of pursuing success–Doing it for yourself, chasing your dreams, following your heart, etc. We possess faith in our financial status, material possessions, and careers. Our future plans rarely include prayers that ask God for guidance.
Our most significant obstacle is self-reliance, which leads to disobedience. Many Christians do not believe in God’s promises. They acknowledge that God exists but have placed Him on reserve. Trusting in self results in happiness that vacillates like a roller-coaster. The believers who please themselves have an internal war. When their lives are peaceful, they celebrate the blessings of God. Yet, when the unexpected hardships arise, doubt escalates, and they ask, “Where is God?”
Hardships, Trials, and Sorrows Reveal Faith or Faithlessness
How do you perceive God? If you accept God as your Heavenly Father, then you believe that He has perfect plans for your life. When overwhelming challenges rise up, we must ask ourselves? Is the hardship self-inflicted? Did I make decisions based on my experience or desires? Was my plan developed and presented to God without waiting for His approval? “Good understanding gains favor, But the way of the transgressor [unfaithful] is hard.” (Proverbs 13:15).
Or is the hardship a trial to strengthen my faith and develop my character? “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.” (1 Peter 4:12). Living in obedience gives us the assurance that God will deliver us at the appropriate time.
Our Response Reveals Our Relationship with God
The “Ephesian chapter 6” soldier of God responds to unexpected challenges with fervent praying. They pray for Divine help, and include God’s promises in their petitions. With confidence, they approach God because obedience is practiced daily in their walk with God. Yes, their faith is steadfast: “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:14 NLT).
With the desire and a simple prayer of confession, we can become faithful soldiers of God. There is a better way to live. Develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father. He has promised to take care of us. And God’s promises are “Yes, and Amen.”
God’s People Are Comforted
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
Prayer: God, we ask for forgiveness of the sin of self-reliance. Hear our prayer and give us the strength to withstand our consequences. And if our hardships are fiery trials to develop our characters, we pray for the strength and patience to wait for You. In Jesus’ Worthy name, we pray. Amen.