What’s interesting about getting to the end of your rope is that it tends to shed light on your faith. Hardships can exhaust a person till they are at their end, wondering if they should hope in a brighter future, questioning if God is going to change these circumstances soon, feeling their faith take a beating till they can barely whisper a hallelujah. Lately, I have been noticing many Christians going through hardships, including my family. Our faith is being tested more than it ever has been. Yet, in all the injustice and betrayals, God continues to be faithful to us. So, asking God to encourage our tired hearts, we rise again today and say, “Lord, we believe but help our unbelief.”
I am here today to encourage you and be vulnerable myself. If you can relate to feeling you are in the midst of a trying season, I want you to know you are not alone.
Note: I am typing this post right now and have no idea what I am about to write. God has put it on my heart to talk about faith, of all things. So I am going to be obedient, sit here and write what comes to mind, and let’s see where God takes this post. It's funny -- to write about faith, I need a little faith.
Well, let’s start at the beginning. What is faith? From what I can tell, it is something you don’t realize you have until you need it. It is hoping beyond what you see (Hebrews 11:1). It is taking a step off a boat and walking on water.
Faith is a gift.
I find myself often asking God for more faith because I know I don’t have enough of it on my own. I love Jesus so much, and if you were to ask me if I believed He could do miracles, in a heartbeat I would tell you He can, and would share my story and the impossible things He has done for me in my life.
He has done so much for me. I like to brag about what He has done in the past but I’ve noticed that I usually do not talk about what He will do in the future.
Sometimes, I think, but what if He doesn’t do that thing that I am hoping for? What if my mom doesn’t get better? I am cautious to say, “He will heal her because He healed me!” when I have seen that God has His own plan and His own way of doing things in people’s bodies that does not always align with my hope for an instant miracle. What if I can’t afford to go to school? Sometimes, doors close for a reason. Who am I to judge God and His ways?
So, I stay quiet when I talk about the future and what God may or may not do. How can I know?
But I want to share with you what I have been pondering in my heart: Though I do not, and should not, hope for things that fade and change, I can safely hope in Christ. (Hebrews 6:13-20)
I believe this is where faith comes alive in our lives, when our faith is placed in Him only, and when difficult times come, we can speak and act confidently because we know God is faithful.
If you know who God is, it does not matter what happens in the future; your hope is that the future will be good because you will be with God, and He will be with you.
This is faith: absolutely knowing that God is true to His word and His character, in every situation, in every “accident” that happens, in the middle of your finances and plans — in every area of your life — He is God.
That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
-1 Corinthians 2:5
Do you remember in my last post where I talked about going back to school? That took a lot of trust in God, and He was so good to me. I ended my semester well, started working on my thesis, and then, my mom got sick again during the summer. One day, while praying for her, I heard God’s voice; He asked me if I’d be willing to give up my dreams for a year and serve my mom. It wasn’t a demand, it was a choice, a question, but I knew by saying, “yes,” though it would give me freedom to love my mom is such a unique way, I would also be leaving my life behind.
Well, I emailed my advisor the following week and told her I would be leaving my school to move across the country for my mom.
Though it may sound like a admirable thing to do, and granted, I have enjoyed the fact that I am relieving my mom of certain responsibilities, it would not be a sacrifice if it did not hurt. It was not easy to leave behind my school, church, friends, and professors. I am doing a type of work that I know how to do but am not passionate about, the kind of work I left behind to pursue a career in teaching. That has been tough too.
Things that look admirable are rarely without sacrifice of some kind.
Do you know why I said yes? It’s because I saw the way God was with me during my first year in school, and though I feel so inadequate to be here in this situation, God is the one who asked if I would be willing. He wouldn’t ask if He didn’t fully know that through Him, I would be able to handle it.
I’m here by faith.
I trust God’s wisdom more than my intelligence. I trust His ability to persevere beyond my strength. I trust He is kinder than I know how to be. I trust in His patience when I fluster. I trust He is gracious when I wander.
“Then he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.”
God is who He says He is, and He will be faithful, as He always has been in the past.
This is the only thing I know to be sure in my future. I may not be bold enough to speak about the certainty of some things, but I will choose to speak confidently about the presence of God in my future. And whatever He promises from then till now and from now till then, I’ll declare it with conviction because God does not lie.
I do not know when or how my mom will heal. I do not know when or how I will begin school again. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, but I know this: God will be good. That’s the only thing that has helped me put one foot in front of the other, and that alone, I believe, will continue to fill me with hope.
If you are still reading, thank you. I told you, I was not sure where this post would go, but I am so glad it brought us both to this place. Just writing these words down have encouraged me to continue to trust in Jesus. I pray for impossible things all the time, because I know God is able, but at the end of my day, even if those things do not happen, as long as God is with me, my soul is at rest.
Tonight, I went to my secret place with God; it is a little spot where I can have my time with the Lord. I ran to Jesus, imagined laying against Him, and He said to me: Just be.
That is all we need, Princesses, to know that we can just be with God. Jesus is enough. Do you know why Peter could walk on the water? Jesus called Him out onto the water. When Peter was looking at Jesus, he did the impossible but when He looked away, out of fear and doubt, He sank (Matthew 14:22-33).
I think faith works that way; it’s like gasoline for our cars, it fuels us in this life with God (James 1:6, Hebrews 11:6).
I have so many questions, and too much to do, but right now, even if all I can do is just be, and my hallelujah is a whisper, God hears me and sees my faith, smaller than a mustard seed. Jesus will work with what I give to Him. He can use me right where I’m at, and He can use you right where you are. He only asks that we look to Him and walk towards Him. So, let us continue to seek God, even in the trying times, with the shield of faith in front of us, determined not to let the enemy keep us down. Our hope is in Christ alone, no matter what we are living through or what we see.
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
-2 Corinthians 5:7
Lord, thank you for faith. Thank you for this gift that enables us to walk towards you and towards what you want us to do. Thank you for being you, God. I love who you are, Jesus, and that I can come to you vulnerably and you understand. You know us so well, Lord. I ask for you to heal my mama, you know her body so much better than I, and I entrust her once again into your hands. Jesus, you know my struggles, as you do the struggles of every person reading this post, and I ask you to give us a greater measure of grace to do what you are calling us to do.
Help us to walk on water, to keep our eyes focused on you, and not look to the right nor the left. God, we believe, but help our unbelief. Give us more faith in the areas that we need it, especially when our faith is smaller than a mustard seed, though I know you only need a little faith to move mountains. I’m not ashamed to say I need you, Lord, and that I can’t do this by myself. You know that we cannot do this life alone, which is why you are with us, and why you’ve sent your people to walk with us as we walk with them. Thank you for this body, this church and community which we are ushered into because of our united love for you. You are so good, Jesus. Help us to remember your faithfulness as we move forward in faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
I hope these words encouraged you, Princesses.
p.s. Just a reminder, we have a Prayer Wall on this website, and if you ever need prayer for something, I welcome you to share it with us (you can remain anonymous, if you want to!) Also, I encourage you to read the other prayers, and pray for those who share their burdens with us. Jesus gave us one another for a reason. :)