You prayed. You trusted.
But things did not turn out as hoped.
What do we do with that as followers of Christ? I know what the world says: “See, your prayers mean nothing. It’s all left up to chance, anyway. Why bother?”
But we do bother, because we know better. We know Him. In times like this we see our faith hit the proverbial fan. This can mean one of two things:
- Our faith is threatened, crushed, wiped out, or…
- The strength of our faith affects all those closely watching our words and lives.
It’s kind of like blowing on a dandelion and watching the seeds spread to others and growing more and more dandelions as a result.
That stalk looks pretty wiped out at the moment, but the result is actually multiplication.
You ask for examples, you say. OK, let’s look at some from the Good Book.
King David had messed up royally in the way he took Bathsheba as his wife (Long story, but it wasn’t kosher), and the son they had together was dying. David fasted and prayed for days for his son to live. Instead, the boy died. What happened to David’s faith? He got up, washed his face, changed his clothes, and went to worship the Lord. Even his own servants questioned him. What was his response?
While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought “Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.” But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.2 Samuel 12:22-23 (NIV)
Of course, most of us know the story of Job, afflicted in every possible manner, to the point that his own wife told him to curse God and die. Job would have none of it, because his faith was strong despite the trial. He told her:
Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?Job 2:10 (NIV)
Even the great apostle Paul prayed to no avail for a thorn in his flesh to be taken way. He prayed and pleaded with the Lord three times a day to be released from the torment. The answer was no, but with a reason:
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
So, Paul’s faith hit the fan and grew stronger, as he learned how to not just boast, but gladly boast in his weaknesses, knowing that Christ’s power was that much more evident in this life.
Have people learned from the faith of these men of faith? Absolutely, for what God taught them he also teaches us in our times of trial.
When the world asks, “Where is your God?” We can respond that he’s with us in good times and bad; in the joys of the light and the shadows of the darkness; when I get my heart’s desire and when my heart is broken; when I live in obedience and when I fall flat on my face.
The Lord says he will never leave us or forsake us.
Because of his presence, we can trust that his ways are so much better for us, when things don’t go our way.
If my faith has to hit the fan to prove it — so be it — to his glory.
Grace and Peace
All The Colors In The World by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License.