Posted by: glorifyhim1 | October 5, 2010

When Faith’s Not Easy

The writer of Hebrews describes faith as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, a person of faith treats things hoped for as real, even when they cannot be seen. The Bible offers many examples of men and women who showed this kind of faith, often during difficult and trying times. The 11th chapter of Hebrews recounts some of these heroes such as Noah who built an ark before the first raindrop fell, Abraham who stepped out into the unknown not knowing where he was going, and Sarah who bore the son God promised when well past her child-bearing years. These heroes, along with many others in Scripture, remained obedient to God even when in the midst of circumstances that they often could not understand or explain.

While Noah and his family were saved from the flood, however, sometimes being faithful can result in suffering and hardship. When Abraham lifted his knife to kill Isaac, his promised son, God intervened and saved his son. Yet sometimes God does not intervene in our circumstances. And while Sarah witnessed a miracle in her body with the birth of Isaac, sometimes no matter how much we believe that God can do all things we do not receive a miracle in the midst of our situations.

Although the three patriarchs mentioned above saw God’s intervention in their lives, I don’t think their faith was easy either. When we read the glorious accounts in Scripture of how God worked in their lives, we are looking back at what transpired in each of their lives. We have the benefit of hindsight and are able to see how everything worked out according to God’s plan. Neither did the early patriarchs live to see the full provision of God’s covenant, yet they remained faithful. In many ways, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah were just like we are today. When they took that first step of obedience, they didn’t know what the outcome would be. Yet they persisted even when they didn’t understand. Why? Why did Noah continue to pound nails into the ark when he was probably scoffed at and made fun of? Why did Abraham step out into the unknown and leave all that was familiar to him? Why did Sarah continue to journey with Abraham even when it looked like she would never have the son that God promised? The reason they persisted is the very thing we must do when faith’s not easy. They believed God!

When we face crises and hardships in our lives, our faith is often challenged or tested. Yet the measure of our faith reveals what we really believe about God. Do we believe that He loves us? (1 John 4:8-10) Do we believe that He is all-powerful? (Jeremiah 32:17) Do we believe that He is good? (Psalm 100:5) The better we come to know God, the more we realize that we can trust Him – even if we may not understand. Hebrews 11:6 states: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Faith heroes like Noah, Abraham, and Sarah knew God and believed Him. That is why they persisted when it wasn’t easy. I think about a story I heard recently about a little girl on an airplane. As the plane encountered great turbulence, many of the passengers grew fearful and became anxious, but the little girl stayed calm throughout the flight. Upon landing, a fellow passenger asked the little girl why she didn’t seem to be afraid on the rough flight. “My Daddy’s the pilot,” she explained, “and he’s taking me home!” When our trials come and faith’s not easy, we can be like that little girl. We just need to remember who God is, believe Him, and know that He is taking us home.

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