Faith Amid Affliction

Part 1

Faith is an active reliance on God, rather than a passive assertion about his trustworthiness.

Proclaiming a horse safe to ride is a passive assertion. Climbing into the saddle is faith.

Believing God to be trustworthy is a passive assertion. Faith is following him unconditionally on his terms, despite risk, uncertainty, and sacrifice.

By faith, we deem God’s timing impeccable, his plans perfect, his provision sufficient, and his judgment infallible, even when we are afflicted, deprived, or endangered.

By faith, we accept God’s answers to our questions about suffering, even when they seem incomplete from our perspective.

Part 2

The object of our faith is more important than its certitude.

It is better to have tenuous faith in the almighty God than resolute faith in a lie. Jesus said even a little faith in him is enough to move our personal mountains.

We can harbor doubts about God during distress and still exercise faith in him. We simply need to set aside our feelings, take God at his word, and act accordingly.

Part 3

Faith is to reborn believers what finding second wind is to marathon runners.

Instead of quitting the race at the first sign of fatigue, marathoners keep running until new energy enables them to maintain the same pace with more comfort and less distress.

When misfortune generates distrust in God, faith sustains us through the doubt and anger until our subjective feelings once again reinforce the objective evidence of his goodness and benevolence.

Part 4

Faith is not unique to belief in God. We frequently exercise faith in everyday life.

Most of us sit on chairs without checking to see if they are structurally sound, because we trust the expertise of the furniture designers. That is faith.

We believe Boeing engineers understand the components of aerodynamic force, so we fly in their airplanes. That is faith.

We see evidence that Bayer scientists make safe and effective aspirin, so we use it without reservation. That is faith.

We may not understand why God lets us suffer, but if we choose to believe his promise of aid, we can rest assured that he exists, he sees our plight, he cares for us, he has the resources to help, and he will surely come to our aid, in one way or another.

That is faith.