Testing our Faith!
With all that’s going on around us today, how would you characterize your faith? Is it strong one day, weak the next? The book of James provides some practical advice for those whose faith fluctuates in difficult situations. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways (James 1:2-8).”
Friend’s, when we begin doubting God and His Word, we’re driven and tossed about like the surf of the sea. James says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways and should not expect to receive from the Lord. To be double-minded is to go back and forth in our thinking. We may begin with strong confidence in the Lord, but as time goes by and the difficult circumstances grind on, we may begin to start doubting that the Lord will do what He promises.
Keep in mind, doubting and questioning are not necessarily the same thing. To question, is to seek to gain further information in order to better understand what God has said. Doubting, on the other hand, involves believing what we think, what we see, what we hear or feel rather than what we know God has promised in His Holy Word. It is natural for us to question when we’re suddenly blindsided or overwhelmed by a distressing turn of events. God understands all of our human struggles and He wants us to come to Him with our pain and confusion. The truth is, He often has to sift our thinking by reminding us of His promises, of His truth or His past faithfulness through previous challenges.
Dear friends, even though we may not understand all that God is doing in our world and in lives today, we can rely on what He’s revealed: The testing of our faith produces endurance and spiritual maturity, and it supplies something we lack. When we know this, we can trust the Lord to accomplish His good and perfect will through our current situation and rejoice in knowing He will see us through it. Trust the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Grace and peace always,