God establishes your faith
You find yourself drawn into some church on some odd Sunday because one of your friends or family members “dragged” or “pressured” you to go. You say ok and you go expecting church to be what you’ve always heard about, full of acts and phonies. Some how though, the worship seems to move you and you’re having emotional responses that you suppress cause you don’t want anyone to see you. You make it through it without dropping a tear, go you! You sit there and the preacher begins speaking his message and you’re uncomfortable because what he’s saying is reflecting what your life is taking you through. You suspect your family or friend has told him you were coming and gave him some background on you but they are not giving you any indicators they have when he speaks on your life. You’re thinking “this is crazy! How does he know this?!” And you begin to listen attentively cause he’s telling you theres a solution to your suffering. He tells you about his good friend Jesus and how he can change your life for eternity. You like the notion that your life can change and you start desiring it, you hear that all you have to do is believe that his good friend died for you that he will be your good friend and take care of you. Your mustard seed gets planted and you say yes. Faith has been established!
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
Romans 10:17 NKJV
You come to acceptance of that faith and you come again and again and you’re high on what God has been doing for you. You are now saved sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost whoop whoop! No one can ever tell you God isn’t real, but there’s more! You have enrolled into the walk with Jesus Christ as his disciples had done and your lessons begin. God begins telling you to do things he wants you to do, they are hard and you don’t want to do them because they make you uncomfortable and you begin to wonder where that blissful time in God has gone where things just worked. Suddenly something happens that may hurt your feelings and you say “God why did you let that happen to me? Are you real? I thought you were supposed to protect me and make my life better?”
God challenges your faith
If everything were to be fixed in your life and you were to have no more problems in your life would you really appreciate what God has given you? Would you stop sinning and actually be righteous and upright? Or would you take advantage of Gods gift and do what you wanted to do? Would you take his gift and only love yourself with it? He knows you’ll forget what he brought you out of so he sends you reminders of your weakness and his strength. Those reminders are always hard and just what you need to grow in him. He wants you to accept them and remember he loves you.
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
James 1:2-4 NKJV
Just like any teacher God assigns tests, but God isn’t like any teacher we know. He has a specific lesson plan made for each of us, that means your lessons may be more difficult (looking) than someone else’s. The lessons are meant to attack your weaknesses so that the enemy cannot defeat you with them. Healing your brokenness is that patience having its perfect work. You have to go through these trials to eliminate the strongholds the devil has established in you. Don’t resist God and give yourself over to the enemy because you want to feel good all the time.
God builds your faith
Once you understand the purposes of Gods trials you begin to recognize how faith operates, you start to understand that faith has to grow in you from that little seed of faith to a fruit bearing tree of faith but you have to water it right? You have to have faith in the little things of your life. Say you want a job, you pray that God gives it to you, you apply, you say “God is gonna let me have it”, you don’t get the job. Has God forsaken you? Has your faith failed? No! You pour more water on that seed. “I’m believing God has something better for me so I’ll keep praying and keep applying”. We don’t have a clue what God is doing but we must trust his timing and when he does deliver you’ll look back on that job you thought was for you and thank him that he didn’t give it to you because of how great the real blessing is.
“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.””
Romans 1:17 NKJV
And you are transformed by your faith in God
After believing, being tested, and growing by those tests you learn to question less and follow more. God has proven himself to you time and time again so you have confidence in him more than you ever had before. You worry less, you are comfortable in times of strife, and you’re full of joy when the rest of the world says you should be messed up with sadness. You know for certain God will use anything to move you forward. All those time you saw an end God opened a door that no man could close, you know just how weak you are and understand the duality of yourself. Your life is really changed. Your mind is really changed. You notice and other people notice as well.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:1-5 NKJV
What God has done he will continue to do and we all must fight to get to that place of peace in God. Even in writing this I realize how far away I am from being a fully grown tree in Christ. Trusting God is by no means an easy task but continuing to walk with him will make it easier. Remembering where we started should be reassurance enough to know that we are different because of him. Remembering those things should be motivation enough to tell someone about him. Sometimes we get caught up in the feelings of not being good enough when we fail but fail to realize the success God has had even in our failures. He knows and understands fully what we are going through and that’s why He never forsakes us. Whoever believes is going to be made whole, so remember what God has done and just keep going.