Faith In Crisis
For a long time, I feel like God has been calling me to write this but I’ve been procrastinating, as one does when they finally start university. But the sense of urgency has been so prominent in the last weeks as every word I’ve heard, be it in church, fellowship or just in my quiet time has pointed to this in one way or the other.
Prior to getting here, I had a lot of battles to fight, internal and external ones. Mainly internal, and the biggest of these was a battle in my faith. It wasn’t a battle in my faith that God was real or that he sent Jesus Christ to die for me as those are truths I believe can never be shaken in my life. However, what baffles me is that if those truths can never be shaken in my life, the truth That God is real and that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins, then why does my world shake when things don’t go as he says? Why do I suddenly question God’s promises over my life when the reality I experience isn’t in sync with the word I received? Why do I question whether God really knows what he is doing in my life when things don’t go according to what his word states? Notice how I didn’t say “When things don't go according to plan” but rather, when things go according to his word, because, I thought, his promises never fail? His word will not return to him void so why am I experiencing the total opposite of this? Why does it seem like the word he gave me isn’t materialising?
I recently came out of one of such battles, a fierce one at that. It was in my coming to Uni and applying/getting my Visa. As we all know, the process is insanely long and frustrating and even though, at the beginning of this “battle” I equipped myself with weapons of holy warfare- Truth, Righteousness, Salvation etc. spoken about in Ephesians 6 vs 10, the unhealed scars of past disappointments caused me to easily lose sight of these weapons and be affected by the facts of the circumstances. So, even though I’d pray to God through the day, watch sermons, read my bible and sing songs, when something that wasn’t in line with what God said he’d do happened, I was flat on my face crying to God due to my doubt.
But I came out of that and here I am, sitting at my table writing to you immediately after reading an application rejection letter, I still write in hindsight of how God has done wonders in my life despite what my feelings may have stated in those and this dire moment and despite the reality of these situations . I write to you with Holy Perspective.
When we experience blows, we almost indefinitely, say, as a comfort to ourselves, “ Well it probably was not God’s will” and I am as guilty as many of you are in saying so but I have come to a different revelation. Maybe it was God’s will. God is the only one who truly knows what is good for us as our minds change every second about what is and aren't good so, we need to trust that whether God's route is to walk through the wilderness or it is to avoid it, his destination remains the same. Many of you may have read about how God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt and how they stayed in the wilderness before they got into the land of Canaan but, what many don't know is that there was a shorter route to getting to Canaan as the bible says in the book of Exodus 13:17-18 " Rather than take the shorter, coastal route to Canaan, God directed Israel southeast toward the Red Sea. The direct route led through the land of the Philistines, and while God could have simply destroyed the enemy (as He would at the Red Sea), His concern lay more with the unprepared and fearful hearts of His people". While the Israelites stayed in the wilderness longer than God intended ( there is more to this but this is not today's topic), God lead them to take that route because he wanted to do something in their hearts before he could allow them to inherit his promises.
A lot of times in my life, I have been so fixated on the promise God supposedly gave me instead of realising that God's promise is not the material thing i.e ( You will get that job, go to that uni, marry that person etc.) but his promise is eternal goodness. I say this because God makes no promise of worldly riches of which all those things and much more are, his promises are of eternal riches. Many times, we cry out to God about a disappointment he never promised us. God's will remains the same and his will, will forever be good as he is a good God, but what I've come to realise is that God's will has no one given path; it is a destination with many routes. So, while God saw his plan working successfully, I saw failure......In God’s omniscience, he knew that going through what I have gone through will birth a new me that could never have been birthed the ‘rosy’ why don't we leave God who is all knowing to determine what's good for us, after all he has been right for all these years, what makes you think he is going to start getting it wrong now ?
I realised that my definition of God's goodness was based solely on what I thought was good for me and therefore I was limiting God's works to my own interpretation of his promises. The Bible says God can do infinitely more than we can ever ask or think of so why do I think that because I haven't experienced it, he is no longer that same God? Dear reader, Your revelation of who God is and what he can do in your life should not be based solely on your experience of him or other peoples experiences of him but in the truth of his word. A lot of us limit God by looking at what he has done or not done in our lives or in the lives of those around us and even worse, we limit him to the stories of his works in the Bible. But he is not bound by human limits, he is limitless.
Paul went through pain to write the new testament which has and continues to help all Christians in their everyday walk with God.
The pain he experienced is the Blessing we receive daily.
The Israelites went through slavery and wilderness and their lives are used as points of reference of God's goodness but also for lessons to be learnt.
Their bondage has become the source of liberation.
IN ORDER FOR JESUS TO BE GLORIFIED HE HAD TO SUFFER,
TO GET THE CROWN HE HAD TO GO THROUGH THE CROSS.
HIS PERSECUTION HAS BECOME OUR SALVATION !!!
Notice how peoples lives are being used as testimonies which equip us, making our walk easier so we can, in turn, go through our own things and pave way for others.
You can’t experience God as the provider if you never experience lack
You can’t experience God as the comforter if you never experience pain
You can’t experience God as a friend if you never experience loneliness ....
It seems contradictory to state all that if I said earlier that your revelation of God shouldn’t be based on your experience of him. However what I’m trying to get at is your perspective in the middle of your crises. You can’t experience God as all these things if you don’t know him as those things. You can’t proclaim that God is your comforter when you’re looking to your situation and how you may not be feeling comfortable in that moment or at previous occasions. You are a Christ follower meaning you walk by faith and not by sight which also translates to, you have faith before you see the manifestation. You proclaim that God is your comforter because he said so and because his word says so; His word is the truth, your experience is a fact but we all know that facts can be interpreted the way you want and they do not always equate to the truth. So, set your eyes on things above, God’s word, it is only this Holy Perspective that can cause you to proclaim who God is even though you are not experiencing that truth in the moment.
I challenge you today to change the way you look at your situations. Look at them through the lens of faith and watch the miracles of God unfold before your eyes.