Monday, 11 February 2013

Faith? What Faith?

You know how it's like. When all is well in life and you feel at peace and confident. It's easy then to wave your hands in the air, sing "Halleluiah" or such like Praise Song, and tell everyone how good and great is Our Lord.

But what happens when things aren't so good? When they are bad? In fact when they're very bad? Very bad indeed?

Do we still jump up and down praising God? We should ... but do we do it? Always?

Or does a tiny little bit of doubt creep into our mind, and it slowly  grows as big as the devil's smile?

Our human nature dictates that at times we do doubt and worry. It's how we're made. It's how He created us. And He knows too well that it's our human failings that come to the fore when the pressure is on.

We may pray and pray, and then pray some more. But then ... nothing. No response from God or from Anyone else out there. It's like talking to a phone that has been cut off.

We ask others to pray for us and our situation. They promise to do so. But still nothing. No One seems to be listening on the other end of the phone.

Our doubts grow and the devil smiles some more.

We ask whether He is really there. Does He exist? Is it all an imagination? Are we alone to our fate and our destiny as the world goes round and the years pile on to our shoulders?

When we're at our wit's end with doubts, fears and worries. When we feel that we're losing our Faith and the very beliefs we've held to over periods of time that's when in effect our Faith is being strenghtened.

The very fact that we're still praying, or we're asking someone else to pray for us because we're too tired and disheartened, is itself proof that we believe in something or Someone.

We wouldn't pray if there was no One there to listen. The very fact that prayers are still being said proves that deep within our souls there's still a very tiny flame still burning ... still hoping ... still daring to believe. Despite all our troubles there's still a teeny weeny little bit of belief. It may be smaller than half a mustard seed. But it's still there.    

All our pains, our worries and our troubles serve to strenghten our Faith, however small it is right now.

As the man said to Jesus: "I believe, Lord; help my unbelief". (Mark 9:24).

The man believed in something or Someone, however vague and confused his belief was, but that was enough for Jesus to take pity on him and to respond.

We've all got different amounts of Faith and Beliefs ... assuming they can be measured as such. Some of us can undergo great difficulties and pains and their Faith remains steadfast and an example to many. Others crumble and tumble at the first hurdle and break down to almost nothing.

God knows that. He knows us all and He knows our capabilities and our propensity to be tested.

He will not allows us to be tested beyond our capabilities. He is not in the business of losing souls ... least of all His own followers. He'd leave ninety-nine safely praying and go out looking for the one wandering away in a daze.

When we ask God to give us Faith ... to "help our unbelief"; He doesn't give us a magic pill to increase our Faith, or wave a magic wand to make it happen.

He allows a situation to develop to give us an opportunity to trust Him more and so increase our Faith in Him.

Wow ... that's complicated.

He allows a situation to happen which makes us trust Him more ... to increase our unbelief ... to increase our Faith.

I once asked someone how come he had such great Faith. He replied that in life he'd been through so many bad situations where he knew that God was there every time helping him.

That made me feel smaller than half a mustard seed.

18 comments:

  1. People with deep faith call believers to a deeper faith themselves. To the rest of the world they are fools. Let me be a fool for Christ! Like you, there have been times when the faith of another person has shown me to be smaller than half a mustard seed. Then I have thought, "If they, in their circumstances are filled with faith and a holy joy, then I can do it, too."

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    1. I understand Barbara. I know another friend who is in terrible pain and always ill; yet his Faith is ever so strong. And he's always cheerful too. How does he do it?

      God bless you Barbara.

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  2. I read this- I can't remember where but it made an impression on me: Patience with self is called humility. Patience with others is called love. patience with God is called FAITH

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    1. That's a wonderful saying Melanie. Thanx for letting me know. It makes a lot of sense.

      God bless you.

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  3. I agree that these "mini dark nights" are allowed by God to strengthen our faith. Those times where heaven seems closed up tighter than a drum happen to most of us. Billy Graham called it "pounding on the brass wall of heaven" - when it feels as if your prayers go unheard, doubts creep in, and your faith seems to plummet like a heavy stone tossed into a deep lake.

    Thanks for blogging about this subject. May it help people who are going through a tough season in their spiritual lives.

    God bless!

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    1. The problem Mary is when the mini dark nights go on and on. I've felt as you describe many times.

      God bless you and thanx for your prayers.

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  4. True, they can go on for years. I think these times are very difficult for everyone. Even the great saints were not exempt and many of them wrote about it. Knowing that others experience it can be consoling to a degree because we know that it will pass even if it feels like forever.

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  5. I pray and pray some more, Mary. That's all we can do I suspect.

    God bless you.

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  6. It irks me to think my doubt puts a smile on the devil's face. That alone will spur me on to remain faithful!

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    1. What a positive way to look at things Noreen. Thank you.

      God bless you.

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  7. Yes, indeed, our faith is tested and grown by fire! The rain may not be comfortable but it brings a lot of beautiful fruit.

    Blessings,

    Jose Daniel Pinell.

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    1. Very wise words Jose. Thank you.

      God bless.

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  8. I keep going back to the Book of Job, Victor. Job got angry, cursed the day he was born, asked to die, etc. but he never stopped the conversation with God. Yes, you are right..and to think that Jesus said if we had only the faith of a mustard seed. A lot to think about....
    Andie

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    1. That's true Andie. And at times continuing to pray is itself such a heavy burden. But we must not give up praying.

      God bless you.

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  9. Great article and great comments too!! I agree with Barb - I would like to be a fool for Christ!

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    1. Thank you Colleen. I appreciate your encouragement and support.

      God bless.

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  10. This is very profound. And just what I need at this time in my life. You know, I've had many of these thoughts:

    "We ask whether He is really there. Does He exist? Is it all an imagination?"

    And I've asked God to increase my faith. So that's why this is happening to me! And it's exactly as you've said. My trials have increased my unbelief, but ultimately, my faith is being strengthened.

    His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts!

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    1. Through our trials, Sarah, we learn to trust Him more, and our Faith strengthens.

      God bless you and yours.

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