Living By Faith or Giving Into Doubt
Do you know for certain God is working on your behalf, or do you merely hope He is helping you? Are you walking in the confident conviction the Lord will do as He's promised, or are you worrying about the difficulties you face?
Each day, you and I have a choice to make: Will we live by faith or succumb to doubt? How we answer this question will shape how we view our circumstances and what we are able to accomplish in our lives. Walking in the confident conviction the Lord will do as He's promised will help us triumph over the many challenges we face.
As we see throughout God's Word, responding in faith is essential to our Christian walk (Rom. 1:17). This is especially true when we face times of adversity or feel helpless. Perhaps our medical, relational, or financial situations seem insurmountable. Our hopes and dreams may appear to be dashed forever. It might even feel as if God is refusing to answer our prayers. We must remember the Father uses each of these to test and grow our trust in Him, and it's crucial we respond with a steadfast faith that doesn't waver (James 1:2-6).
I recall a particularly difficult season when I attended the University of Richmond. Everything seemed to be going wrong. I received a 50 on one exam and a 75 on another. I did not have the funds needed to continue my education, and I was desperate to know if it was the Lord's will for me to remain in school. I remember going to my room, weeping, and praying to God: "I've got to be absolutely sure it is Your will for me to be here. Father, please clarify this question in my mind and show me exactly what to do ."
I am sure you can relate to the pressure I was under as a young man. Human logic was telling me, "You're away from your family, failing your exams, and you have no money. Wouldn't the Lord make this easier if He really wanted you to continue? This is not worth the struggle. Go home." But all the things my grandfather taught me kept coming to mind, including the principle that God would move heaven and earth to show me His Will. I also knew the Father did not require me to understand His will. I simply needed to obey it - even if it seemed unreasonable at the time.
Thankfully, the Lord gave me the courage to continue in college. However, the experience taught me that wavering faith can be dangerous. If I had not sought the Father's will and had given up, the course of my life would have been altered completely. The same is true for you. Regardless of what you are facing, the Father will use it as an opportunity to deepen your faith in Him; and walking in faith can mean all the difference to your future. So how do you make sure that you walk in faith?
1. Whenever you are tempted to fret about your circumstances, ask yourself the following questions:
Where are these doubts coming from?
Has God ever failed me in the past?
Doesn't the Lord promise to meet my needs?
Don't I have the help of the Holy Spirit?
Isn't the Father with me at all times?
Is anything too hard for God?
Is my focus on the Lord as it should be?
Could my unbelief in this situation cost me a lifetime of regret?
2. Spend time in the Word of God.
One of the primary ways the Father speaks to you is through His Word. Therefore, study the Bible each day, consider how He is instructing you, then apply His principles to your life. The Lord will move heaven and earth to show you His will, so trust Him to reveal what you should do.
3. Reflect on the times God faithfully answered your prayers.
Remembering how the Father has helped you in the past will keep you from stumbling when troubles arise. Whenever you see the Lord at work in your life, record it in the margin of your Bible. This will become your personal record of His faithfulness to you and will help to encourage you in your walk with Him.
4. Choose to obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
There may be times in your life, as there have been in mine, when trusting the Lord is in conflict with your human reason and when you fail to see Him working in your circumstances. But don't give up. Remember "we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5 :7). Claim God's promises in faith, and do exactly as He says. You will always be glad you did.
No matter what your situation is today, I hope you will trust that the Father is working on your behalf. It is my prayer that you will take the time to strengthen your faith each day, spend time in the Word of God, reflect on the Father's answers to your prayers, and faithfully obey Him regardless of the consequences. This will make all the difference in your life. You may not know what the Lord has planned for you, but you can be assured that it is above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)
Often, our faith is tried the most when we must wait on God for the desires of our hearts. I pray it will help you persevere in faith, regardless of what trials may come. May God bless you richly as you seek to trust Him more.
Proverbs 31 Ministries