Faith has weighed heavily on my heart lately. The topic and study of it especially. I’ve wrestled with questions like… “How do I build faith?” “Where does it come from? God? Myself?” “Is it required of me period, but also to be loved by Christ?” “How do I even build it when things are going terribly wrong?” “How can I believe or have faith in a God who allows things to happen that don’t feel right?”
I needed answers. Maybe you do too.
I felt especially like in this season of life where nothing feels very solid, that I needed confirmation on the foundational principles I was proclaiming to my friends and family. I needed clarity on WHO God is and WHY I believed He was still good no matter what. Otherwise, how could I continue to carry on in conviction to teach God’s word in the spaces I feel called to, and especially in my home.
Do you wrestle with questions like that? I live in firm belief that when we are able to bring our big questions to God (that question who He is) He shows us who he is in a big way. When I allow myself to get there, bare all of my heart with him - darkness, doubt and all, He says, “Ok Jill, I see your doubt and a raise you this…” Which is usually followed up by something in His holy word. But what if we aren’t there yet? What if we are choosing to sit in our doubt and anger towards God as a power play. Maybe our anthem is, “Well, Lord, since you’ve deprived me of this so for long, I won’t give you my heart.”
Can I give you a freeing piece of advice? That’s ok. It’s ok to be angry with God. It’s ok for faith to waiver. Because we will be angry and it will waiver. God knows that. Even when we refuse to give him our hearts, he still knows us. WE ARE STILL KNOWN AND DEEPLY LOVED EVEN WHEN WE REFUSE TO GIVE GOD OUR FULL ATTENTION.
What we choose as a power play is actually a sign of the enemies power over us. We don’t actually hold the power we think we hold. Instead we’ve just given it to a drunk driver who is determined to make you believe it’s all good, until you’re lying in a ditch somewhere thinking, “How did I get here?”
I encourage you with this… Where ever you are in your belief in God, we all know one thing to be true. Faith does not leave us because of our feelings. Faith is a foundation. It’s the belief that we know God can do anything, even though sometimes he chooses not to. It’s the belief that when something good happens, we know who gets the credit - To God be the glory! Even if/when things go south, and we shout “Lord, how can this be apart of your plan?” our faith can still be active and alive in us. We have the power to choose if we allow our feelings to dictate our faith. When we choose to remain rooted in belief that He is still good even though our situations may not feel good, We are giving the keys of our life to the one who has plans that work together for the good of those that love him. But if we think we might choose the other route, losing faith in Him, we don’t actually hold the keys there either, we are passing them on to the one who’s determined to tempt and distract us from our freedom.
In the Sister Study right now we are talking about faith. And the more I study it the more I wonder, what does it mean for GOD to be faithful to us?
We are tempted to think of a fluffy faith when we think of God’s faithfulness. As humans, we set our mind on what we desire. Healthy children, a YES to the job you wanted, getting a raise that you prayed for, the stars aligning for an easy life transition, a weekend of rest, and so many other things that we long for and look forward to and desire to be true in our life. God is faithful in all things, so please don’t hear me wrong… He is faithful in those things. But He is also ever so faithful in the hard things that aren’t what we desire, like: illness that forces you to be still, an unexpected diagnosis, a big fat NO, the loss of a job, a child, a dream, the delay of a promise, a new season of life or a path you did not ask for or not getting to see it come to fruition. He is faithful there too.
In our study specifically I think of these verses in Hebrews 11: 39-40:
“And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.”
And then following in chapter 12:1-3, the pep talk and encouragement we’ve been needing.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
One of the things I love most about the Sister Study is being able to toss around questions like this and see where everyones head and heart are at in it.
One sister said this, “ When I think about God’s faithfulness I almost always think about Romans 8:28, that no matter the circumstance or outcome “all things work together for good”. I try to remind myself of this promise whether we see it in this life or in heaven.
Jennifer, another member, said, “Faithfulness is God’s commitment, His patience and His everlasting ability to do any and all things and yes, for good!”
Natalie said, “ Giving me peace and full guidance to lean on Him. To remind me daily He has it all under control.”
I love this! Tell me below, I’d love to know how you view God’s faithfulness.
I’m in this with you,