The life of faith is not a life of failures, but a life of trial and triumphs by and through the power of the Spirit of God. It is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking with God and not fainting in our efforts to carry out the service of God. Faith is measured not by the fact that you have not gone back as failure is measure by God having not arrived, yet. Both are measured by the level of insight that you have into where you are in your relationship with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
There are several stages of faith. Stage one begins with a voluntary surrender of our will—the willingness to trust God. Usually, at this stage of our Christian experience we are not willing to believe unless we have a sign or some other manifestation of feeling. “I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew” (Judges 6:39). We feel our fleece, like Gideon, and if it is wet we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, but it is imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God.
Stage two marks an advance in our faith when we trust God without feelings. It is blessed to believe without having any emotion. “But not let us despair.” As our faith grows so does our commitment to the agreement between the human mind and the human spirit to accept the truth of God’s revealed will. It is our commitment to the truth of the revelation, a complete trust and confidence in God’s character, and Jesus Christ’s teachings, with a total surrender of the human will to the power of the Holy Spirit that overcomes every obstacle.
There is a third stage of faith which even transcends that of Gideon and his fleece. The first phase of faith believes when there are favorable emotions, the second believes when there is the absence of feeling, but this third stage of faith believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all urge to the contrary. Paul exercised this faith: “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away.” Notwithstanding all this Paul said, “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God that it shall be even as it was told me” Acts 27:20-25.
Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and trusts the One who is leading. The believing Christian has to understand, as the saints of old learned, life’s difficulties and obstacles are God’s challenges to our faith. When we are confronted by obstacles in daily life, we are to recognize them as opportunities for our faith to grow in the fullness and sufficiency of Jesus Christ. I assure you as we go forward, simply and fully trusting Him, you will be tested. There will be times when we may have to wait, but patience is more than endurance, it is faith at work on the inside.
I realized that the hardest things for any Christian to contend with are not the things your family, friend or neighbor is aware of. The hardest things are those things deep down in the cracks of an aching heart, unseen and unknown by anyone but you and the Spirit of God. Everyone experience a little trial that we dare not mention to the closest friend that is more difficult to bear than martyrdom. “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen, for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (II-Corinthians 4:18).
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (I-Corinthians 4:20). Faith is more than a word, it is power. Faith gives strength to the weak, courage to the fearful and answers to our petitions of God. The faithful servants of God can have this power and our faithfulness to Him and His Son Jesus Christ will allow you to apply this power to overcome the troubles of life. It is impossible to be faithful and-or experience faithfulness without faith. “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Faith is not in what God says alone but in Him, if we only look at what He says we shall never believe. The Lord says; “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee; I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Joshua 1:5). Too many Christians will not believe we prefer to continue to worry. Stop trying to figure out how God is going to do things and let Him do it. God cannot fail and if we would only trust and believe He will prove that He does not want us to fail either. “God has dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3), what you do with it is up to you.
Remember, faith is not intelligent understanding, faith is a deliberate commitment to God when you see no other way. The greater the difficulty the easier it is for faith to work. Recognizing our human frailties and acknowledging the power of the Spirit of God to work beyond all natural prospects is living faith. As long as there is a natural prospect that we can see, we believe that we can do. After the natural prospects fails, faith comes alive and overcome the obstacles. Adding new meaning to the verse; “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” May God give us faith to fully trust His Word, especially, when everything and everyone else witness the other way. Be blessed and bless someone in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- The Core of the Problem (thethirdcross.wordpress.com)
- The Unchanging Christ (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)