Does Faith Really Work?
I am sure there isn’t one person in this world who hasn’t pondered whether or not faith is worth it at one time or another in their lives. We all have our challenges but for the most part, we can maintain a posture of thanksgiving, as there no major issues in our lives. In those times, without a doubt, our faith is strong because we have no reason to doubt, no reason to question, no reason to think faith won't work in our favor. However, what happens when a major life trial comes? What do you do then? Many situations in life can cause you to question whether you will continue to believe the way you once did. For one person it may be struggling through an extremely difficult time in your marriage. For another person it may be suffering through the poor decisions of a wayward child. For someone else it may be grieving the loss of a loved one with no idea how to continue to put one foot in front of the other. In all of those situations, the easy thing to do would be to walk away. The easy thing to do would be to give up and say I’m done believing in God, because believing and having faith got me here. But what happens if you continue to hold on to what the Word says?
What exactly does the Word say about faith? First, the Word tells us that faith is the reality of what we hope for, and the evidence of things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1) The Word tells us that when our faith is tested, our endurance has a chance to grow. (James 1:3) The Word tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) It is not realistic to walk around rejoicing on days when all is well (from our point of view) thinking that is God's only requirement of us and as a result, our faith will not be tested. The true question is, when your faith is tested, how will you respond? Again, the Word tells us that our endurance has a chance to grow in times when our faith is tested. (James 1:3) Not sure if you believe that? There is so much evidence in the Bible of how a choice to continue trusting God will always yield the best results. Joseph maintained his faith in God despite all of the challenges in his life and as a result, God put him in position of power and he was able to bless his family. (Genesis 37 – 50) When Ruth lost her husband and she had a choice to return to her family (who were non-believers), she chose to stay with her mother-in-law Naomi and continue to have faith in whatever God had planned for her. (Ruth 1:16 – 18) Because of Ruth’s faith, God blessed her with a man named Boaz, they created a family, and Ruth went on to birth Obed, who was part of the bloodline of Jesus. (Ruth 4: 13 -17; Matthew 1:1 – 17) When Jesus became scared and anxious at the thought of dying on a cross for the sins of humanity (Matthew 26:39), He prayed to God, which helped Him maintain His faith in God’s plan.
There are endless examples of what faith looks like in the Word, but even with those examples, we will always be faced with our own decisions. Yes, we can surrender to life’s circumstances and let go of our faith, but what if we do the opposite? What if we continue to rejoice in our confident hope, remain patient in times of trouble, and most importantly we decide to keep on praying? (Romans 12:12). One day will turn into one week. One week will turn into one month. The next thing you know, seven or eight months have passed and the pain you felt in the beginning won’t be as severe as it once was. That’s what faith looks like. It’s choosing to continue to hold on to God no matter what you face, and believing that somehow He will turn it around. Maintaining your faith in God is the absolute best thing that you can do, because He is the only one who can turn morning into dancing. (Psalm 30:11 – 12) He is the only one who will always be there for you no matter what. (Matthew 28:20)
Choosing to maintain our faith in God is not always easy, but it is always the right choice. (John 14:6) So does Faith really work? In a word, yes. Faith is everything. Faith allowed Jesus to fulfill his purpose knowing that God would bring him back home. Faith is how we get to heaven. Faith is what allows us to go through tough times knowing joy will soon come again. (Psalm 30:5) Your morning may be tomorrow, your morning may be next year, but we do know that trouble does not last always. As long as we run to the Word, and hold on to Jesus with all we have, He will continue to see us through, He will continue to renew our faith, and He will continue to get the glory out of our lives.
Keep the faith brothers and sisters…keep the faith!
Tyndale House Foundation. (1996, 2004, 2015). Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Carol Stream, Illinois. All rights reserved.: Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.