Seasons, To Everything a Time
Faith. The illusive understanding. All of us have struggled with faith. We struggle mostly because of confusion. We do not fully understand what God is doing. We read of the miracles in the Bible, we listen to the TV preacher who speaks of formulas of faith, we read the books and testimonies of great times of God’s interventions and then we have our challenge facing us.
We question, why? We do not understand that in one instance God does His intervention thing and then in others, it seems He is uninterested or maybe, just says no. We have our questions and with them come out doubts. Am I crazy, am I an unbeliever, have I backslidden, or maybe God just dosen’t like me?
Every honest follower of Christ has asked these questions. If you live by a formula of faith, you will fail. God is not a magic dispenser. He is not moved by threat or formulas by which he is supposed to perform. He does know our human condition. Even Jesus cried out with a sense of forsakenness from the cross even though he is a part of the trinity and is God. Wow, figure that one out.
However faith is not capricious. He does not favor one over the other. As the call to salvation is for all, so is the call to faith. We cannot please him without faith. Faith is basically, trust. I trust you God. Faith has substance and most times what we call faith has no substance. It is more a hope of grasping something that is illusive. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Not preaching, but the word of God. Not reading, but the word of God. This means I heard God speak to me. Not all things we hear from God are favorable in this sense, it may mean a call to suffering or dying. What Jesus heard in the Garden was the cross and no options. What Paul heard was Jerusalem and jail. Yet, faith was in those words. Strength to endure were in those words.
Often our attempt at faith has a preconceived notion or a prejudice of response. Faith is trusting God after hearing him. Oh, we can bring our wish list and our priority list to him and those my match up at times, but really faith only comes when we hear him. He may reject our wish list. He may rearrange our priorities. He may speak something totally unheard before and tell us to take that path.
Now, when we hear from God, we get substance and evidence. We can boldly move forward since we have substance and evidence. Faith has a confidence. There is none of the confusion. There is no waffling. It is firm, established, and now the confession part works. Confession does not work until you have faith. Often people are making confessions to work themselves into faith. What a waste of time. Seek the Father, hear his voice, get your instructions, and then you have grounds of faith to begin confessing what God has instructed. Then you begin to practice faith. Then you do not doubt in the dark what you saw in the light.
Can I have questions? Yes. What about my doubts? You can have those too. But questions and doubts should drive us to God for answers and reassurance. They should not take us to accusations of God nor lead us into self worship.
Learning the seasons of God helps us in coping with life. Blanket exemption from life’s seasons is not available to Christians or non Christians. Life’s problems are held by all. But we do have the Lord and his wonderful care. Faith causes us to trust Him and that all things will work together for our good. -Pastor Bill