“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
As I was typing those words yesterday, tears of joy flooded my eyes. O, how God has loved us! How He wants to stretch our faith to trust Him fully when “circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, and human reason all seem to urge something to the contrary.”
I am far from where He wants to take me, and I realize I will not reach the third level of “perfect faith” until He calls me Home to be with Him forever and my faith will then be sight. It is a desire, a goal He has placed in my heart, and He wants to do the same for you too, dear believer.
But I must also tell you life will not be easy. In fact, you can expect trials because it takes tribulation to produce faith. If you have ever been in a situation where you felt totally helpless, no one to turn to but Christ the Lord, we are on the same page. So many times I have felt like the lady who said to Him, “God, I can’t even help you!” That is just where He wants us! Looking to Him only!
Paul exercised this level of faith when he said, “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (Acts 27:20), then nevertheless went on to say, “Keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me” (Acts 27:25).
Too often we substitute our feelings and emotions for faith. In all our experiences, conflicts, battles, trials, and testing, we are to rely on the indwelling Holy Spirit, regardless of how we feel, and walk in obedience to Christ. We are to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Have you ever felt so lonely and empty in your soul that you sensed God had withdrawn Himself from you? That is because you are looking to the outside world of emotions when all the while He has been waiting inside for you, in the inner chamber of your spirit.
This can be a good thing to feel this way if it causes our faith to come to grips with reality and say, “I do not see You or feel Your presence, Lord, but I know for certain You are here and You are completely in control of my situation.” It is necessary to distinguish between feelings and the fact of God’s presence.
Perfect trust in the Lord is resting our entire being on Him—like resting all our weight on crutches when we have a broken leg or sprained ankle. Elton Trueblood has said: “Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.”
When is the time to trust?
Is it some future day,
When you have tried your way,
And learned to trust and pray
By bitter woe?
No! For the time to trust
Is in this moment’s need,
Poor, broken, bruised reed!
Poor, troubled soul, make speed
To trust your God. –from Streams in the Desert