Be Strong in Faith
“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men [act manly per the concordance], be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13
“I don’t trust you!” I cried out to the Lord in the thick of yet another deplorable two-year-old temper tantrum at the ripe old age of 48. “How can I trust you? You don’t care about me!” I continued. “You don’t answer any of my prayers the way that I want!” As soon as I spat out the words toward the heavens, I heard the sickening words I had spewed echo in my heart. God’s Spirit moved to make me hear the atrocity I had just cried.
“What do you want to tell your people?” I asked the Lord as I began to work on this devotional less than 24 hours later.
“Tell them to be strong in faith,” His Spirit spoke quickly to my heart. Clearly the message was just as much for me as for anyone else!
That very morning, I had stumbled upon some “random” words a “random” person had written me. A contractor who had graciously offered to drive hours to come help me with a project if I couldn’t find anyone else had replied to my letting him know God had sent help with these words:
“May your faith in the Lord be strong even when He answers our requests in a way we don’t understand,” the “random” man wrote “randomly.” Obviously there was nothing random about the message of encouragement the Lord had used this man to send me.
And there it was. In my tantrum, I had railed at God that I couldn’t trust Him because He hadn’t answered all my prayers affirmatively. The truth is He had answered plenty of them affirmatively through the years. And in His infinite wisdom, He had at times refused to give me what I had prayed for because He ALWAYS knows what’s best. More importantly, how dare I have the audacity to make demands of God and to be angry with Him when He doesn’t give me what I want. He is Lord! Sickening sin! Most importantly, genuine trust and faith in God are NOT based on our circumstances nor on how God chooses to answer the cries of our hearts.
Like a spoiled child, I had pride-fully, selfishly, been bitter toward God because He wasn’t answering me when I waved the magic wand I thought I had long since tossed away and had blatantly clutched back into my chubby little spoiled child’s hands. Clearly I had resorted to being greedy and hurt when I wasn’t getting what I wanted. It was high time to repent!
The “random” person had encouraged me to be STRONG in my FAITH like the apostle Paul told the Corinthians to be steadfast in theirs. True trust in Christ is NOT about our circumstances nor about what God does and doesn’t do in our lives. Genuine faith is about loving, revering, worshiping, obeying, and choosing to trust God no matter what because He is God! Trust is a choice.
Be strong in faith! Trust the Lord!