At my church we have been extensively learning about faith – a faith series if you will. When we first started the series I thought, “I got this! I am a faith having expert! Of course I have faith, it is like Christianity 101.” You can probably tell where this is going… I am not a “faith expert,” I don’t even know if I am at an intermediate level. At times faith is one of the many areas where I fall short. Don’t gasp, let me explain.
The thing is, I know the truths that God has given me. I know His word and I know that He cannot lie. However, there have been times when the circumstances in my life have distracted me from the truths I know, and instead of there being faith during those circumstances, there was worry/doubt. I realized that my level of faith had not quite reached expert level as soon as I heard that I couldn’t have faith and worry at the same time.
Wait, what? You mean that seven months ago when I looked at the balance due to our wedding venue and immediately knew that we didn’t have the money to pay it, and freaked out a little, my faith wasn’t activated? The truth is, when worry sets in, faith exits stage left. Faith and worry just do not go together. As soon as those words hit my ears and dropped into my heart, I just thought, “oh crap.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that we are to walk by faith, not by sight. That means, regardless of our circumstances or how it looks like things are going, we have to TRUST GOD – no freaking out allowed? What if you just lost your job? Trust God. He has something better for you. What if you have more month than money? Trust God, He will provide for you. What if you’re stuck in a job position, being overlooked, and not given any opportunities? Trust God. He knows what He is doing.
I have to admit, it is a bit difficult for me to keep worry out of the equation when there is a cataclysm ensuing, but because God is so good, He does provides a way out. A few weeks ago my pastor preached a sermon about what to do when you doubt (here is the link if you’re interested). The message was preached from Matthew 14:22-33. Most people know this as the bit where Peter walked on water.
Anyway, Jesus is walking on the sea toward the disciples. They were afraid, thought He may be a ghost, and understandably, freaked out a little. Jesus announces himself, and tells them not to be afraid. At this point Peter says, “Lord if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So Jesus says come. Peter gets out of the boat, eyes fixed on Jesus and started walking toward him. BUT he became distracted and his attention shifted from Jesus to the wind, he became afraid, and guess what? He began to sink. As soon as he began to sink he cried out, LORD SAVE ME. HERE IS THE GOOD PART —-> IMMEDIATELY Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him.
Before I heard this sermon, I never thought about this… The fact that Peter doubted is not what is important. We are human, we fall short, it is going to happen. The important part is, AS SOON as he noticed he began to sink, he cried out for help and immediately Jesus helped him. Since God is not a respecter of persons, He will do the same for us.
When I face a circumstance and begin to worry, it is at that moment that I need to cry out to God and ask him to save me, and immediately He will reach out redirect my focus back to where it needs to be, which is on Him.
I’m not saying it is OKAY to worry or doubt. But I am saying that if you are still growing in your faith (as I am) and your circumstances distract you from walking in faith, God has provided a solution for that. But just because there is a solution, doesn’t mean this is where you should stay. We should all strive to have Mark 11:23-24 faith. The kind of faith that moves mountains.
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to the this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart ,but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” -Mark 11:23-24