Tag Archives: Faith in God

What is Faith?

Here is a quote I came across a couple months ago: Faith is not believing God can, but that God will!

But what if He doesn’t?

I couldn’t help but look at those words and ask what about the people who have lost loved ones? Or parents who prayed and prayed for their child to live, but their child died anyway? Or the man who lost his job and eventually his home?

Did they not have enough faith? Did they not pray enough? Or is faith something more?

Last year I found my faith stretching beyond anything I had ever known. For the first time in my life, I believed God could do anything, not just with my head, but with my heart. That faith carried me through some of the darkest moments of my life… until nothing happened.

God didn’t come through.

I couldn’t believe it. It was the biggest letdown ever. I had prayed, prostrated myself before God, and thought for sure that God was behind us. But He didn’t show up.

I felt alone and devastated. Was my little kernel of faith just not big enough? Mentally and emotionally I felt like I was being sucked down into a vortex of darkness. Could I trust God anymore? And what is faith really?

It was the story of three men that made me start to think there is more to faith than just believing God will do something. The men’s names were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Most people know them by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were three young men taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar and sent off to Babylon where they served him.

In Daniel chapter 3, Nebuchadnezzar creates a statue of gold and commands his people to bow and worship it when the music starts to play. The music plays, and everyone bows… except for those 3 men.

They are brought before Nebuchadnezzar. He tells them he will give them a second chance. But if they fail to obey and bow down, he will throw them into the blazing furnace. “And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” (Daniel 3:15)

Here is their response: ”O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.

But even if He doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” (Daniel 3:16-18).

Did you catch that? These men knew God could save them. They had faith. But their faith wasn’t based on what God would do; it was based on God Himself. That is why they could say even if He doesn’t. Even if God did not save them, they would still follow Him and not bow down. They completely put their faith in God to do whatever God was going to do, even if God’s plan did not include saving them.

Wow.

Do I put my faith only in what God is going to do? Or simply in God Himself? Do I trust God so much that I place myself in His Hands and know that no matter how dark the outcome, He has a reason for it?

That is a different kind of faith than the quote up above. A faith that has allowed Christians in the past to face torture and death. One that allows me now to see beyond my current circumstances. A faith in God alone, not in just the outcome we want from Him.

Walking on Water

The Christian life is like walking on water. We see Jesus and He beckons us to come out and join Him in faith. So we do. We get out of the boat and low and behold, we are walking on water! Amazing!

But then the waves of life start to pick up. They climb higher and higher as the sky grows dark and the wind whips the water into a frenzy. Suddenly Jesus looks small compared to the things we fear in life:

I just got my paycheck and its not going to cover the bills this month.

My husband said he met someone else and no longer loves me.

Its cancer and I only have 3 months to live.

The medical bills are more than I make.

My teen daughter is pregnant.

No one will hire me.

Fear grips us. All we can see is the waves, each one threatening to crash over us. Jesus, where are you? We cry. All we can see is the storm. And we begin to sink.

I’ve felt that panicky, drowning feeling lately. I’m looking for Jesus, and I know He’s there, but right now, my life feels like a hurricane. I’m having a hard time setting my eyes on the small image of Jesus walking towards me on the water.

Faith is easy when the waters are calm. But when lightning flashes and the wind howls and the waves of life are higher than my head, faith for me is very, very hard. And when I feel like I’m facing the waves alone, they can overwhelm me.

But I am so thankful that Jesus doesn’t leave us there to drown, even when we have very little faith. Like Peter, we cry out. And Jesus comes. Does the storm stop? The storm didn’t stop when Jesus reached out to Peter. And many times the storms in our lives don’t stop when Jesus reaches for us.

Instead, we find a firm hand pulling us up and a face to look upon rather than the storm. And in my case, a reminder not to have so little faith because even the winds and waves -and life- obey the one who can save me.