Do You Have Faith for This Tragedy?
What is faith? I used to have a sign in my office that read Faith is not believing God can but it is knowing that He will.
Webster’s Dictionary for faith is to trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.
A spiritual definition of faith: Genuine, authentic faith is a faith free of doubt and believes that the things which “God says shall come to pass, will come to pass”.
The acrostic for Faith is FAITH FORSAKING ALL I TRUST HIM.
The faith of the child of God measures his victories and successes. Faith is the way he is saved, and faith is the way he lives the Christian life. Faith is trusting not striving.
Abraham needed faith to step out and claim God’s promises.
Genesis chapter 13:14-18 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.
Just like Abraham, we need faith to face trials and difficult times in our lives.
God wants us to see with our eyes of faith. vs. 15 …land which thou seest. God wanted Abram to see His glory and provision. After we get saved, we attend church services and listen to many sermons. We read devotional books and listen to testimonies of great men and women of God through DVD’s, CD’s, live streaming, etc. Although we attend wonderful preaching conferences and hear the Word of God in many different ways, but, like Job, unless we go through suffering, we don’t really see the LORD and understand His plan for our lives. Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
What happens to us when our eyes of faith are opened? Suddenly His Word reveals to us our true thoughts and motives. As our eyes of faith open, we begin to see our Lord in all His glory and majesty, and we want to fall at His feet and worship Him.
God wants us to hear with our ears of faith. vs. 15 …to thee will I give it. Abraham heard God’s promise-I will, I will, I will.To have ears of faith, we must listen carefully for God’s voice to guide us.
How do I hear God’s Voice?
First, we hear God’s voice by that still small voice in our spirit. 1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Second, we hear God’s voice through His Word. Romans 10:17…hearing the word of God. Word in this verse means communicate. When someone communicates the Gospel to us, we are saved. We hear and believe.
Our fellowship and communication with God opens the door to faith. Our communication with God should be more than “give me” or talking at God. Communicationwith the Lord takes place when we begin to share our deepest hurts with Him and allow Him to comfort us through His Word. As time passes, He gives us wisdom to understand that these trials were designed for our good and His glory. Our faith grows to the place that we learn to pray with the mind of Christ.
“LORD, not my will but Thine”. Matthew 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
It involves listening and waiting for God’s Word to communicate His truth into our lives. His message will be gentle but strong. When God’s Word comes into our spirits, we will begin to feel His love as never before. When we begin to feel God’s love, His Word will encourage and energizes us for the mission that He has prepared for us. These will be messages that He designs just for us to hear and messages that draws our spirits closer to His.
God wants us to walk with our feet of faith. vs. 17…arise, walk through the land. Abram stepped out and claimed what God had for him and walked in God’s will.
Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. The path of our life is miraculously designed and ordained by God. It is not by chance that the events of our lives happen but by His sovereign will. Every step that we take is from Him. Think of a captain of a ship. As he steers that vessel, he makes sure that it doesn’t crash into the rocks or run upon the sands. That captain’s goal is to get his vessel into the harbor safely. That is God’s goal for our lives. He is the captain of our salvation, and His goal for our lives is to get our vessels (our lives) into the harbor (heaven) safely.
God delighteth in the ways that He leads His children. Think of a new parent as he watches his baby begins to take his first steps. At first that child hesitates, but day by day, he becomes surer. Then after a few weeks, he is walking everywhere. Jesus is watching our footsteps. He is watching how we walk through our trials and disappointments. He delighteth in the way that we walk when He sees us walking strong and walking in faith.
God wants us to move with faith when He speaks to us. vs. 18 Abram moved his tent. When God said move, Abraham moved. He moved when God spoke to him. Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whitersoever thou goest.
The African impala can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance of greater than thirty feet. If you put that same Impala in a zoo and cage it in an enclosed space, it can’t jump a three foot wall. Why? Because it can’t see where its feet will land. For the children of God, our faith is like that. Our faith is the ability to trust even though can’t see. Our faith frees us to move from thoughts of fear to thoughts of future rewards that await us in heaven.
God wants us to be satisfied with His plan for our lives. vs. 18 Abram was satisfies with what God was doing in his life. He was living in Mamre. The word Mamre means fatness. Fatness in the Bible speaks of experiencing the blessings of the Lord. Abraham sacrificed in Hebron. The name Hebron symbolizes fellowship and worship. It was there in Hebron where Abraham fellowshipped and worshiped the Lord.
Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied. What a wonderful promise. If we fear the Lord, we shall experience satisfaction. It is interesting to look at the word abide. Although we might be going through the deepest trial, we are freed from the fear of the trial because faith has a sure abiding (accepting God’s will) place.
What must we do when we face a tragedy or a severe trial?
Think positive thoughts. Satan wants to fill our minds with negative thoughts. He wants us to doubt our salvation and doubt God’s purpose and will. He wants us to look to our own faith and not to the faith of Jesus. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and 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. To develop our faith, we can’t put our faith in our own faith, but we must put our faith in Jesus’ faith. In the book of Hebrews it says…looking unto Jesus. This verse is telling us to look away from everything else except Jesus. We live by the faith of the Son of God, and we are looking to Him for strength, and trusting in His promises and in His grace.
We must focus on positive thoughts of God and His plan for our lives. Positive thinking is not faith. The object of our faith must be the Almighty God. Salesmen and leaders are taught to think positive and to learn positive thinking techniques. The problem is that they are taught to think positive about themselves. If we look to ourselves, we will always fail. We must fill our minds with positive, constructive thoughts of God and His attributes. Psalm 9:10 And they that know His name will put their trust in Thee. I love to review the names of God because they reinforce my thoughts of God’s character and His attributes.
Jehovah I Am—God never changes. His promises never fail. He is faithful.
Jehovah Jirah—God will provide
Elohim-God is all-powerful creator
El Roy-God who sees me—There are no circumstances in our lives that He can’t see and that He is not aware. Through all these circumstances He sees and cares.
El Shaddai-He is the source of all of our blessings—My problems are not too big for Him to handle.
As we hear and read God’s Word, it generates our faith. Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing-hearing by the Word of God. We must get into God’s Word to get our firm assurance.
I am sure that Jesus’ disciples, followers, and even His mother didn’t quite comprehend why He had to suffer and go to the cross. I am sure that they probably questioned God’s purpose during this horrible time.
John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
Only three women were with Jesus at His most dreaded hour. How it must have grieved the heart of the Savior to witness such a lack of faith and understanding in the very ones who claimed to be His followers.
Many times when we go through a horrible tragedy, we become stunned, disorganized, and disbelieving. Our emotions increase, and we become anxious and fearful. We sometimes even begin to question our faith and God’s purposes. It’s at those times we must choose to move from those negative thoughts of doubt to thoughts of full trust in God’s plan and encourage ourselves through His Word.
There are times in our lives when we get so busy living that we get our focus off the Lord’s will and His plan for this world. When those times come into our lives, the Lord has to send trials or tragic events to remind us that He is still in control. It is usually during those difficult times that we begin to get our focus back on Him and His purposes.
Focus on being thankful. I Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Get quiet and get on your knees. Thank the Lord for the experience that you are facing. Let Him know that you don’t understand it, but you know that He have a special plan for for what you are experiencing. Ask Him to fill you with His peace and joy and help you to trust Him through this trial.
Listen for Him to speak to you. It is almost as if I can hear the Lord speak to me in a still small voice during difficult times, “My child, I know that you can’t see all that I have planned at this time, but trust Me and understand that as you and others around you go through this, it will prove to be for your good and for My glory.“
Faith is obeying God even when we don’t understand. It is trusting Him with every area of our lives, knowing that He has a purpose for everything that happens to us.