We all go through our ups and downs in our faith, our seasons if you will. Some days, or weeks or months seem so dry as to make you wonder, “where are you God?” On the other hand we experience some really good days or weeks, maybe some rather intense moments when we just know the Lord is with us. We live for those moments, those times when all seems right. It’s easy to be a follower of Christ when you feel like you are on top of the world. It’s the not so great moments when we see what our faith is made of.
Sometimes it just seems that everything is wrong. Whatever I set my hand to fails. My prayers seem to receive no answers, or I don’t like the answers I get. The bible seems like the same old same old. I try…but seem to get nowhere. What is a person to do in this instance?
The first thing to remember is that faith is not a feeling, let me repeat that…faith is not a feeling. Faith is an action. So when our journey of faith is not going so well, it is important that we choose to believe. Sometimes that choice to believe needs to be made each day. Faith is believing in that which we can’t see. We believe in Jesus and we can’t see Him. Likewise no matter what is going on in our lives, we need to choose to believe the promises that God has made to us. We are not going to “see” most of God’s promises, but that does not make them any less true.
God keeps His promises, good and bad. God promised Abraham he would inherit the land of Canaan. It happened just as God promised. God promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations, that happened as well Genesis 17:4-8. God told Noah He would surely destroy the earth and the men on it, then after the flood He promised never to flood the earth again, Genesis 6:13 and Genesis 9:12-16. God also promised that no sin would go unpunished, Exodus 34:7.
Now God had promised that no sin would go unpunished. The punishment for sin, even one sin is death, Romans 6:23. Obviously God did not create us to simply die from our sins, or there would have been no point in creating us. Just as obvious is the fact that our sins can’t possibly be paid for by us ourselves. What would we have to offer a Holy and perfect God? And God has to remain true to Himself first and foremost before us. So, God made the rule, the promise that all sin would be punished. God Himself in the flesh, Jesus Christ came here and paid the price for our sins. Now if God Himself was willing to lay down His life to enforce (God the Father) and pay (Jesus, God the Son) the penalty for sin…then it stands to reason that we can and should trust that He will keep His other promises.
So, regardless of what we are experiencing, God has said He will always be with us, Hebrews 13:5. He has also said he loves us, 1John 4:10. God has promised to hear us, Matthew 18:20.
Again I have to go back to the fact that Jesus came here and died for us, paid our penalty for sin. Jesus also promised to prepare a room for us, John 14:12. Now if God was willing to do this for us His people, is He not also going to keep the rest of His promises regardless of how we “feel”? God has said you do this, and I will do that. So we believe and accept Him as Lord, and He will save us and along the way be with us, even when we don’t feel Him there.
I don’t have the answer as to why sometimes He seems distant. Have we done something to grieve the Holy Spirit? Are we not following through on a promise we made Him? Have we drawn away from God because we just don’t have time to read the word, or attend a small group, or be involved in a ministry? Or maybe it’s just normal that we go through this at times. After all…if our faith is real it should withstand some testing, or maybe it isn’t real after all. In any case, He is always there.
We need to practice our faith, we need to worship Him and glorify Him. We need to pray always, and keep feeding ourselves on His word. Faith can and does involve feeling, but it is primarily an action, not a feeling. Put your faith into “action” today, remembering the Creator of all had faith in His Father, and went to the cross and died for us…knowing He would defeat death and live again!