Faith Must Be Tested

Faith Must Be Tested

“Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real test of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds.” – The Trial of Faith, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

When I first became a Christian, I was on a spiritual high. Our pastor even noticed that I was on fire. I was on fire for God and I loved it. His presence was so thick it was almost tangible. I came to know Jesus personally 9 years ago. I often find myself telling God I miss that feeling and I want it back. However, I learned that Christianity is more than just a feeling. Faith is called faith because even without seeing, hearing or feeling, we believe. Faith is not based on feelings.

“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” – John 20:29

I realized that our life as a Christian is a journey. We are constantly learning and growing. We cannot linger in one place for too long figuratively—sometimes literally, too! We have to keep moving forward. I learned that as we grow and mature in Christ, He will sometimes test us by keeping quiet. Not all of our prayers will be answered. It’s not really to punish us but to teach us. He wants to see how we will respond. He wants to see if His silence will keep us away from him or draw us close/r to Him. He wants to see if we cling to Him for His blessings or for Himself who is actually the greatest blessing.

I realized God has been teaching me to praise Him in my nothingness. The greatest desires of my heart that remain unanswered teach me to cling on to Him all the more. It taught me, and it still is teaching me, to trust Him. Desperation leads me to surrender.

Sometimes I still find myself asking, “Why, Lord?” However, many times I tell Him, “Lord, my circumstances do not change Your character. You are a good God. You are always good. My frustrations do not change the fact that You are sovereign. You are the God that can do the impossible. You are the God that can do whatever whenever. You are the God who can give my heart’s desire in an instant should You will it.” With tears in my eyes I say, “With or without, I love You.”

It’s no longer a romanticized admiration for God but a deep reverence from knowing His character. It’s not blind faith anymore. I trust the Lord because of the knowledge I have of His character. He is a good God, a sovereign God, a generous God, a merciful God, a forgiving God, a compassionate God, a God that never tires in giving chances, a God that does not push repentant hearts away no matter how grave the sin committed is, a God that never abandons His children, a God that is not stupid (He knows those who are His), a God who promises and delivers, and a lot more.

I don’t only have knowledge of Him, but also an experience of Him. Even if He chooses not to answer my prayers, even though it hurts, I will continue to trust in Him. I know that God knows what He’s doing and it’s for my own good.

I’ve experienced spiritual drought in the past and it was the worst feeling! I’d always felt close to God prior to that wilderness and not having that feeling anymore drove me crazy. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t feel the same way. I was praying (even fasting), reading the Bible, the whole nine yards. I learned that we are not always going to feel high spiritually but it doesn’t mean that God turned His back on us. It doesn’t mean He’s far away.

I learned that we can be as close to God as we choose to be. Our closeness to Him depends on us because He never leaves. He’s always there. When we feel far from Him, it’s because of our own doing. It’s because we distance ourselves from Him.

It’s in my frustration that I learned complete abandon to God. It’s in knowing Him that I remain hopeful and confident.

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