You don’t have to be very observant to realize that many people are in pain. Look to your left and see sickness. Look to your right and see poverty. Look ahead and see disappointment. Look behind and see mourning.
It is true that God allows us to experience suffering in life. Yet there is good news.
It is His faithfulness, which brings us through the hard seasons. We can look to our left and see His faithful hand. Look to your right and see His angelic support. Look ahead and see His promises and purpose. Look back and review His faithfulness.
So how do I choose? Which “vision” will I embrace? How do I cling to His goodness when all around me is difficulty? How do I move from pain to faith?
You and I work and serve in our local churches that are built upon faith in the finishing work of the head of the church – Jesus. We preach about faith. We teach about faith. We talk about faith.
But to be honest, I often struggle to understand faith. I thought when I was walking by faith my life would look a certain way. We sometimes equate faith with the idea that people who are faithful have a perfected experience.
My experience of walking by faith is a little different. It is like walking a tight rope over the Grand Canyon. Behind me is the pain or fear or circumstance that have required me to take this leap of faith and I find myself standing on a rope dangling over a precipice. The wind blows, the rope bounces and my heart pounds. My only hope is to keep my eyes on the destination.
It can be painful and terrifying… but then FAITH begins to surface. It is the moment when His sweet presence surrounds me. He creates a safety net below my shaking legs. He brings strength to my weary arms. My faith is made stronger as I put my trust and confidence in Him. With each step He brings me closer to firm ground once again. And when I reach the other side I can breathe in deeply His joy and His peace. I can look back with confidence to see that once again HE has been faithful; and that my faith has been strengthened and renewed.
Hebrews 11, the great “faith” chapter of the Bible, actually defines faith for us as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. That means faith operates in the “in between.”
It operates when you don’t know the outcome, when your heart is beating for a vision that hasn’t come to pass, or even when you are wracked with pain. Your hair may be windblown, your legs weak and wobbly. Yet in the very moment of your greatest weakness your faith will become mighty. There is purpose in the pain you may be experiencing. Allow it to focus your attention on the faithfulness of Christ. God is pleased with faith and loves to redeem our pain.