“Faith is a gift. It is not something we conjure up ourselves.” Those were the words I heard my pastor say in a sermon this weekend. So I started to think about faith. There are times when it’s easy to have faith. Life is good. Every prayer is answered just as we’ve prayed. Other times our faith is shaken to the core. And we find ourselves questioning everything we have ever believed.
I began a search for the word “faith” and numerous scriptures were revealed. One of the verses stated, “for we walk by faith, not by sight—“(2 Cor. 5:7 NASB). It’s as if our sight leads us away from the truth. What we observe is only a small portion of reality. There is something going on behind the scenes. Something we can’t see with our eyes but feel in our souls. And by walking this faith, we will follow God to the unexpected and unimaginable. What a gift!
Our faith walk leads us on a journey filled with pitfalls and battles. The enemy is constantly working to separate us from God. He accuses, tempts and discourages us. But scripture says we can have victory by, “taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one”. (Eph. 6:16) I don’t believe that every event in our lives has a happy ending. But in the midst of our struggles, when we are weak, the enemy strikes causing us to doubt. Our ammunition against him is prayer and the name of Jesus. We always have the upper hand because we have Jesus who fights for us. What a gift!
Events will happen that will cause us to question God. One of my favorite verses has been Hebrews 11:1 which states “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I love this verse because it inspires hope. Those who read it know their eyes have not seen the complete picture. There will be revelations to come. God is not finished. There is always hope. It’s that feeling deep in your gut which sparks confidence in God’s ability. What a gift!
I always thought my faith grew as we aged or the length of time we have walked with God. Instead, I think faith grows, not by experience but by nearness to God. Each and every struggle reminds us to look at Him, not our circumstances. When the enemy strikes, He is our shield. We can hide behind Him. And when we lose hope, our God reminds us that He is in complete control. Sometimes we question what we have believed, but our faith is that last hope we hold on to when everything we see and hear tells us to give up. What a gift!