You've Gotta Have Faith
Literally, you’ve got to have faith. There is really no other way about it. God moves in our lives in such a way that you’ve gotta have faith. Have you noticed that? Have you discovered that life with God is not about results? There is a reason for that.
You see, to God faith is of greater worth than gold. God knows that we will notgrow in our faith if we can see the results every time we pray. He purposelydesigns our life and spiritual experiences to draw us into deeper faith. Faithis a gift He wants to give to us. He wants us to experience deeper and deeperfaith.
He doesn’t expect us to be all faith and yet have no reason to believe.Perhaps the greatest promise He gave us to build our faith was the resurrectionof Jesus Christ from the dead. The Messiah came to earth to establish God’sKingdom, where He will rule for all eternity. That was the promise given throughthe prophets who spoke the word of God. Because Jesus was crucified at the heightof His popularity rather than setting up an earthly Kingdom from which to rule,our faith believes that He will come a second time to fulfill all the promisesspoken about Him by the prophets.
I Peter 1:3-7 explains,
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
For a little while (compared to eternity mind you) we are suffering. We don’t like to suffer. We want God to relieve our suffering, and even better, completely take it away. That is not God’s way. God says the suffering is good for us. It builds our faith. Respond to Dr. Newman's article
Now let’s just think about this mathematically. We all live in a fallen world. That fact means that things are never going to be perfect here. We will not have the perfect family. We won’t ever experience the perfect marriage, the perfect job, the perfect church. We will not live for eternity, we will all die. We will all get sick from time to time. We all suffer. Some of us face greater degrees of suffering than others, but there is no possible way to live a suffering-free life. This means you will, are about to, or are presently facing suffering. There is no way to get around it.
God says if you have faith in your suffering you are building your spiritual bank account. It is a commodity that is greater than gold. It will never perish. Nothing can diminish what is given for faith. The exact value of your particular faith will not be revealed until Jesus comes again. Yet, as you exercise your faith in the midst of your suffering you experience a peace that passes understanding. So, though you cannot possibly understand the exact value God places on your faith here in your suffering, you can relieve your suffering by exercising faith and creating peace in the midst of your suffering.
Here’s the equation: suffering minus faith equals despair. Or, suffering plus faith equals hope, peace, eternal value unknown. Do you agree that you’ve gotta have faith? It seems to make perfect sense.