Others’ Faith

Our faith, the Christian faith is not dependent on whether things are going well for us or hard. My faith doesn’t depend on whether crazy, amazing, powerful things are happening in my life or whether crazy, horrendous, awful things are happening. My faith should not be rocked if God doesn’t come through how and when I want. We need to learn stop looking at our circumstances to see if God loves us, to see if He’s good, to see if He’s true.

Faith looks not at visible circumstances but at the invisible God revealed in His Word – His character, His actions in history, His promises. Character: God is all-good and all-powerful and all-wise. We trust Him. Actions: God has orchestrated a big picture plan with twists and turns, and ups and downs, but moving to a good ending. Look at Hebrews 11: 39-40 – “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” He has a bigger plan. Promises: God has promised that this world is not all there is. There is an eternity ahead. “Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17).

If God is working in your life through success – thank Him, enjoy it, and give Him all the glory. If God is working in your life through suffering – you can still thank Him, endure it, and give Him all the glory. I’m not saying you can’t lament or feel. In fact, it’s good to feel; we need to feel the sorrows of sin, the deeper we feel the sadness the higher we can feel the joy when it comes. “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Faith is not erased by those feelings of sadness. Real faith is not lost when disappointments come. Faith looks not at circumstances but at God’s character, actions, and promises.

Faith also doesn’t look at others. We can’t focus on our current situation or compare ourselves with other people’s stories. Here’s the thing: everybody, even if their lives look successful in some ways, will experience severe disappointments and suffering. Often the success is coupled with suffering. Think back to Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, and Samuel. Though they had great victories, if you read their stories carefully they also suffered great defeats and had heartache of varying degrees. I often tell people to be careful not to judge other people’s suffering or think that your suffering is unique and unmatched. We all will experience deep sorrow in this world, even if we also see great success.

The question is: what is your faith in? Is your faith dependent on present circumstance? If so, your faith will not last. Or is your faith in God’s Word? That is real faith. (NATHAN CARTER)

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