The Trial of Faith
And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” —Matthew 17:17-20
We have the idea that God rewards us for our faith, and it may be so in the initial stages. But we do not earn anything from faith—faith brings us into the right relationship with God and gives Him His opportunity to work. Yet God frequently has to knock the bottom out of your experience as His saint to get you in direct contact with Himself. God wants you to understand that it is a life of faith, not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessing. The beginning of your life of faith was very narrow and intense, centered on a small amount of experience that had as much emotion as faith in it, and was full of light and sweetness. Then God withdrew His conscious blessings to teach you to “walk by faith” (2 Corinthians 5:7). And you are worth much more to Him now than you were in your days of conscious delight with your thrilling testimony.
Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. Faith being worked out into reality must experience times of unbroken isolation. Never confuse the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life, because a great deal of what we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith, as the Bible teaches it, is faith in God coming against everything that contradicts Him—a faith that says, “I will remain true to God’s character whatever He may do.” The biggest and the greatest expression of faith in the whole Bible is—“Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15). —Oswald Chambers
· As I look back on my life of faith, would it be true to say that I remained true to God’s character whatever He did?
· What does this tell me about my faith? What do I need to change?
Prayer – Father, I am so grateful for how You grow me in my faith. Though there are circumstances I would not have the courage to choose, they do their work in me and that grows my faith in You. Thank you for everything that teaches me to know You in a fuller, richer relationship. Help me to trust You regardless of my circumstance, simply trusting You for who You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.