By Andrea Merrell
But without faith it is impossible to please Him,
for he who comes to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
I’ve found myself saying that a lot to my husband lately. We get over one hurdle—sickness, financial difficulty, job issues, or family problems—and here comes another. There seems to be, as they say, no rest for the weary.
My attitude changed recently while reading from a devotional during my quiet time. According to the author, these constant hurdles are being used to test and grow my faith.
The Bible tells us that we can’t please God without faith. Actually, it’s impossible. That means our entire journey through this life is learning to trust God and believe that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. Pastor and author Bob Gass puts it this way: “The key to momentum is always having something to look forward to and believe God for. You either venture or vegetate.”
In other words, if we don’t use our faith, it won’t develop—just like muscles will atrophy when not used. Every situation the disciples faced—no fish after fishing all night, getting caught in a terrible storm, and facing opposition at every turn—increased their capacity to believe and trust. They continually had opportunities to see exactly what God could do.
An old song says if we never had problems, we’d never know God could solve them. Nineteenth-century preacher Phillip Brooks said, “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your power; pray for power equal to your tasks.”
As long as our faith is being tested, we are growing wiser, stronger, and more resilient. When we see each hurdle as an opportunity that matures us and brings us closer to God, we just might get over them a little faster and easier. In fact, we might even learn to appreciate them.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles.)
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