Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Lesson in Faith

When God seems silent, when you have a hard time seeing Him, hearing Him, feeling Him, this is the time for faith. When you don't understand the whys of what is happening, when you don't understand why God hasn't intervened, why He doesn't DO something, anything....this is a turning point in your walk with Him. Will you choose to believe that He is still good, that He does really care, and He does hear your prayers, even though you cannot even sense His presence? When it seems that He has stepped away, will you choose to believe that He hasn't moved? When the heavens are filled with an ominous silence, what will you do? Will you say, I believe He hears me anyway? Faith is hardest when you can't hear or sense Him, when you can't understand why things are happening. When it seems like you pray, and nothing happens, and you ask yourself, "Why bother? What good does it do to pray? Does it really matter? Does it really change anything? Are you there, God?..." Tough questions. No simple answers.
Life is hard - sometimes God intervenes, sometimes He does not. When He does not, will you choose to believe in Him anyway? That is faith. It is not simply a matter of believing He will (or will not) act a certain way or do a certain thing in response to our prayers. It is a matter of believing He is still who He says He is. His character has not changed simply because bad things have happened.
It is good to remind ourselves that God is not a genie in a lamp - if you rub it just right, than God has to do what you ask of Him, when you ask Him to do it. Many Christians, I fear, have this view of God. "If I do this, than God will/must do this for me.." Often even those of us in ministry have said/thought, "But God! I am doing your will! I am doing what You called me to do!! The road should be smoother because I am following Your will for my life!" Then, when things don't go the way we want them to, we pitch a fit. Like a spoiled child who doesn't get his way. "It's not fair!!"
So you don't understand. That's okay. You don't have to. God hasn't changed. He still holds You in His hands, even if You can't feel them. He still listens to your prayers, even if He seems silent. He still sees you, even if you can't see Him, even if you can't see His plan. So keep believing. Keep praying. Keep the faith.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Heb. 12:1

This was an encouragement and a challenge to me. I hope it made you stop and think. Remember that God is Who He is, no matter where we are or what we are going through. The above lesson was written by
Lance & Amy Auterson. Missionaries in Paris, France.

No comments: