Christians are believers. But what are we believers in? Are we believers in ourselves? Others? Our relationships? Our church? God? Trust and faith go hand in hand in our Christian walk. Trust, the inward knowing and faith, the outward walking, that an all knowing and all-powerful God, works through our brokenness to complete His story. A story that ends with JESUS.
I have faith in God. I trust his word when he says “For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Phil 1:6) and that he has a plan to give us a hope and a future (Jer 29:11). I fully believe that our all-powerful God has an ultimate plan for us that works for His glory. However, there have been times in my life that I look up and out of frustration, anger, sadness, anxiety and burn out and just say ‘God what the heck are you doing? Surely this isn’t where you want me. Surely I’m on the wrong path. This can’t be right. This is all consuming and this isn’t what you want for my life!’
Trust and faith are different things. I can trust you with everything, but faith is telling you a secret. In the same way, trust is the inward knowing that God is good. faith is obeying His word that you put your trust in. The outward walking of your trust.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Isiah 55: 8-12
His ways are higher than ours. They are beyond what we can even comprehend. To have faith is to walk in joy and peace, knowing or trusting that his ways are higher and that He is always good. No matter the season.
Something that inevitably comes to try and counter faith is the doubt. I want to share with you something that has helped me in continuing in my faith when I feel like the world is crumbling around me, and I feel like God is absent. Doubt is the unique problem of the believer. My friend Andy, sent this to me a little while ago.
“You have to believe something before you can doubt it. You have to be committed to it before you can begin to question it. So doubt is held up as the unique problem of the believer.” John MacArthur
If you have faith in Gods purpose for you, and you are all in for Him, there is nothing more that Satan wants to steal from you. But we have Jesus. Jesus is bigger than we know. Believers walk and talk JESUS. When things are going downhill for us, or we are struggling, Satan sees his opportunity. But Jesus has already won the
battle, by dying on the cross for us. Our eternal protector and saviour is bigger than our doubt. I know that doubt and struggle isn’t what God wants for our life and this is where I regularly have to take a step back and trust God in his ways. His ways that are so far beyond what we can understand (as we had a look at before).
There are many times in history (and maybe in your own life) where people have faith in God as he reveals himself to them, but they find it hard to trust his ways. Fortunately for us they are recorded in the bible for us to learn from. When Thomas doubts the resurrection, Gideon doesn’t obey God, and Sarah and Abraham laugh at God when he promises them a child. But despite people’s lack of trust I don’t ever recall God not coming through for them. God always follows through on this promise. At the same time, I see Esther trusting God and saving her people, I see young Joshua leading people towards God, and Abraham Going to extremes because God told Him so and bringing Gods people home.
Over my life I often found myself in seasons of trusting everyone and everything but God. Putting my faith in relationships, in jobs, in my social life, and in myself. I had to learn the hard way that relationships fail, jobs aren’t a place of security (financially or otherwise), people will let you down and trusting only myself will very quickly lead to burn out. I don’t think that anyone who loves Jesus will actively put faith in such things but I had someone once point out to me the different areas in our lives where we so easily put faith in things that are broken. Fortunately for us, we have a God who we can alway put our faith and trust in. Who will ever hold us in the palm of his hand.
But is it really that easy?
There are two things that keep me going when I catch my faith waning and my trust wandering.
Knowing that there is a reason for the season. And knowing that although my emotions and my ideas and trust may change and waver, He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I love to look back in my own life and see both the good and the bad seasons. I love seeing where God has worked. The times when I have felt his presence so strongly and the times where all I can do is whisper is ‘God where are you?’. But I love that saying that there is a reason for the season. It’s such a cliché but it holds such value in our walk with God because He has the ultimate plan beyond any other. In each season is a gem. A piece of growth that he has designed to be place into our lives. There’s a reason for the season.
Hindsight is a beautiful yet frustrating thing. Have a look through your seasons of life. What did you learn? How did God come through and how is he coming through now in your current situation. Whether you are feeling as through its tough or easy going. There are times and reasons for the seasons. Always. God knows the plans he has for us. But our seasons are temporary. Always changing yet He is the same. For he is the same yesterday, today and forever.
This leaves me with no other place to put my faith and trust other than in an unchanging God. The same God that bought Jesus back from the grave, the same God that is not going to let go, but “will continue to perfect His good work in you until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil 1:6)