Why Faith?

faith

It would appear, that as of late, I have been going through a trial of sorts, to which I have little understanding. A series of sometimes associated and sometimes non-associated happenings that culminate in an overall situation where I am overwhelmed with the magnitude of their totality and my own limitations.

I understand that others are asked to endure trials that make mine look like child’s play. And it’s not that I haven’t endured difficult trials before. Maybe it’s because of my age factor and my decreasing physical and mental capabilities, short answer is I just don’t know why. What I do know is that God is stretching my faith and trust in Him and this is not always easy.

No, I haven’t lost my faith and trust in our Lord. Even in the midst of this trial, He continues to give me what I need, just at the right time. I’ll give you one example. We just moved at the end of August. My wife was involved in a car accident when she was very young and as of late, one of the discs in her spine has deteriorated to the extent that walking or standing for any significant amount of time causes her considerable pain. Any time we have moved in the past, we always shared the workload as a team but not this time. She just can’t do it. Not a problem, I can do it alone. But then, a couple of weeks before we are scheduled to move I develop a foot spur on the bottom of my right foot, which causes me considerable pain and limits my ability to stand for any considerable amount of time. Coupled with the foot spur comes sciatic nerve pain in my left leg and just to make it interesting, for some unknown reason my gums become inflamed and produce almost toothache like pain during the day and at night.

What happened next was that the Lord and I had some pretty serious discussions. I laid it on the line, without His intervention I was not going to be able to do the work that needed to be done with the move. No immediate response was forthcoming. I muddled through with packing over 50+ boxes in prep for the move with no relief from the ailments. Then, two days before the move, the foot spur pain totally disappears and the inflamed gums return to normal (no discomfort). Leg pain from the sciatic nerve is still there but it becomes manageable. On the moving day and the day after, I am on my feet for a good 10 hours each day and somehow, all the requirements are completed, which includes unpacking at the new apartment. We had hired movers to move us but there is always the last minute cleaning materials, household plants and items that they won’t move that need to be addressed. All of it got done. I hired a cleaning company to meet the old apartment departure cleanup requirements.

Had the foot spur, the painful gum inflammation and very painful sciatic nerve pain not disappeared or diminished, I simply would not have been able to do the work that needed to be done. I am still amazed that it all got done. The foot spur and sore gums remain totally gone but the sciatic nerve pain in my leg is still problematic but I’m managing. My wife will be 74 in November and I am 74 now.

Bear in mind this is one issue. There are other issues of a more personal nature that cause considerable stress but I’m not going to bore you with those. These are issues of the heart where physical and emotional limitations are stretched or severely tested. Even here, God has provided, giving peace and accommodation, where there was real potential for chaos.

We (my wife and I) still have unanswered prayers, issues which remain unresolved that tear at our hearts, primarily focusing on our children and their needs. We’re not alone there, many fellow Christians are in the same boat. What also amazes me is the love that my wife and I have for one another and that it is maintained and strengthened by God blessing our marriage. I am so thankful for His grace.

So why do I feel overwhelmed at times you ask? That’s a good question! God seems to be taking us right to the end of our endurance at times, where we’re walking that fine line in total faith, not having a clue how the issues that tear our hearts apart, are going to turn out. The window of opportunity for my wife’s and my involvement is relatively short and I get anxious. Unsaved loved ones cause us most grief.

God’s Word tells us that it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6) without faith. God’s Word in Ephesians 2:8-9 also makes it clear that faith is a gift from God, not because we deserve it, have earned it, or are worthy to have it. It is not from ourselves; it is from God. It is not obtained by our power or our free will. Faith is simply given to us by God, along with His grace and mercy, according to His holy plan and purpose, and because of that, He gets all the glory.

I have that faith, that hope. But sometimes I want to see those longings of my heart for my unsaved loved ones, manifested before my eyes, now. And when I voice that need that I have in my prayers, I keep getting the same answer that He showed me during my recent move. This is my own paraphrase, “If I meet your current needs now, you can trust me with your other needs.”

God keeps s t r e t c h i n g my faith, I’ll be candid with you, I’m not always keen about this. I really wouldn’t mind if He focused more on my visual timeline versus His own, but He keeps reinforcing this trust in Him, time and time again. So many stories I could tell.

Why faith? “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).

Our faith can falter at times, but because it is the gift of God, given to His children, He provides times of trial and testing in order to prove that our faith is real and to sharpen and strengthen it. This is why James tells us to consider it “pure joy” when we fall into trials, because the testing of our faith produces perseverance and matures us, providing the evidence that our faith is real (James 1:2-4). I’m pretty sure my response to my latest trial wouldn’t be included under the “pure joy” category. But as God always does, when you really need Him, when your back is to the wall, He comes through.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

About

Disciple of Jesus, married to Peggy, with 5 grown up children, 7 grand children, ex-Canadian Armed Forces and residing in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

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Posted in Apologetics, Defending Christianity, Faith
28 comments on “Why Faith?
  1. Jeff Rab says:

    Bruce, hope the move is all good and that your physical condition, and your wife’s, improves. It seems ailments often happen at the worst possible time, if there is a good time at all. May you can wisdom in trials, strength from endurance and peace that a rocky road and time will all be smooth in time! Peace to you, brother!!

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  2. It’s always simple trials or the day-to-day trials that get the best of us due to our lack of faith sometimes…knowing that He has his hands in all things and that we can truly rely on Him to help us with our walk (sometimes literally walking). I continue to pray for you Bruce as these trials are for a reason and ultimately will bring all of us closer to the Lord and to be a testament to His Grace and Glory! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    Gods timing and ours rarely ever join. I would love to say God has always come in just at the right time but for us,me, sometimes things go into overtime.

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  4. hawk2017 says:

    Praise and Glory. In prayer.

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  5. Bruce, thank you for again for being a witness of the Lord’s presence and mercy. Praying for you to know His joy and peace during these difficult times. Blessings during His faithfulness in your trials.

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  6. Bruce, this may sound strange but you are like a spiritual dad to me, I am so thankful for you and your honesty. I am praying for God to continue showing you how to depend on Him in the midst of physical pain. I am loosely jointed and when I have moments of pain, I literally go in Paul mode and say, “You’re grace is sufficient for me and Your power works best in my weakness.” My the Lord strength and grow your faith and love in Him. Blessings, Mandy

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  7. SLIMJIM says:

    Good post; interesting to see prayers God answers and prayers he hasn’t yet. Just prayed for your kids’ salvation

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  8. Sheila says:

    Great testimony, Bruce of how God always comes through for us at just right the moment! He is so faithful – even during our hardest faith-stretching times! Glad you managed to handle it all!!

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  9. Candice says:

    I certainly know the feeling of having heart wrenching personal concerns that require waiting in hope and faith in the Lord. And yes, these are mainly to do with the faith and life struggles in the lives of our children and grandchildren. I pray He’ll do an amazing work in the lives of your loved ones, and mine.

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    • Bruce says:

      I’m with you on that Candice and thank you so much for thinking of me. I lift you up in my prayers also. I understand so little and it seems to all boil down to just trusting Him because everything good comes from God. So simple yet so hard at times. Grace and blessings to you and yours Candice.

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  10. Sue Love says:

    Bruce, I feel your pain. But, I also know what you are talking about regarding how God works on our behalf. We have moved a lot over the years. Other than this most recent move, I have had the strength and energy needed for the move. Not so this time. So, it was slow going. There were some hurdles to overcome along the way, too, but God provided. He made it all work. So, I relate. And, I am glad for you in how he provided for you through it all, and for what he is teaching you regarding faith, too. He, as well, has been impressing on my heart much to trust him even when I don’t understand. He is teaching me, too, to walk by faith and not by sight. I appreciate your openness here in sharing what he is teaching you, too. I have been praying for you as the Lord brings you to mind.

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    • Bruce says:

      Thank you so much Sue. I can’t help but feel that God wants you and I to understand one another better and I mean that in a purely spiritual and appreciative way. Everyone tries in their own way to connect with God or at least those who He draws to Himself. And we’re all different yet all the same. God’s Word is indeed the light that we walk in and yet none of us have exactly the same perspective on everything. God corrected me with regard to how I understood you. I know you are trying and trying hard. Each of us carries hurts and scars we have picked up along the way and considering that I don’t thoroughly understand myself, how could I possibly understand you. But God does and He allows me to see what He wants me to see and I know in my heart you are God’s and that’s good enough for me because I am His also. It’s amazing really how He teaches us and I am so thankful. I was reading Chapter 7 of Luke yesterday and I teared up when Jesus forgave the sins of the woman who washed His feet with her tears and dried them with her hair and anointed His feet. That He would do that means He does that for you and I and it just grabbed me. I can understand her tears and I can feel them. I stopped trying to “figure” you out and I see the you that is beyond that and if God can do that in me, He can do that in anyone. You are precious in His sight Sue. Thank you for reaching out to me and thank you for your way of reaching out to others. You’re a gift and I thank you. Grace and blessings to you and yours from our loving God. – Bruce

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  11. Sue Love says:

    Bruce, Thank you for sharing those thoughts with me. Yes, God made us all different. We are all uniquely designed by God for a specific purpose. He gave each one of us different parents, different upbringings, and different experiences, etc. which all helped to make and to mold us into the people we are. And, refined by God, this all serves his purposes.

    For, he knitted me together in my mother’s womb. That means that he put me in the family I grew up in, and for his purposes. And, he used all of that in my life in preparation for his unique calling on my life, too. So, I don’t fit anyone’s mold.

    And, honestly, I don’t try really hard. I just let go and I let God. I just let him direct me in the way he wants me to go, and I follow his lead. I just do each day what he has called me to do. There is no real effort on my part, though. I just sit in front of my computer with my fingers on the keyboard and I read the passage of scripture for the day and I ask the Lord to guide me in what he wants me to write. And, then I write what he gives me to say.

    But, does my history play into this? Surely it does! But, in a good way. For, God uses my experiences I have had to give me his heart and his passion for people and for truth and for righteousness. But, I don’t write what the Lord gives me to write each day out of any hurt or injury. Nonetheless, those hurts he has allowed in my life make me more passionate and compassionate, and they help me to feel what God feels so that I can write with his passion.

    Every poem and every song I post, the Lord puts those words in my mind. They didn’t come from me. Do I feel some of those in my emotions because of my experiences? Yes! Truly! But, that is a good thing! The Lord also inspires each devotion he has me write. He leads me in what to say. And, I believe that what I write, for the most part, are messages he wants to convey to his people, his church.

    But, do I enjoy writing everything he gives me to write? Not in my flesh. I don’t. For, I know that I am setting myself up for rejection and misunderstandings. But, I obey the Lord, because I know the messages he gives me to write need to be said and that people need to hear them, but they are not going to tickle itching ears, for sure.

    And, I am sharing all this with you, because you have opened the door for that here, and because you believe God wants us to understand each other better, and that he has been working on you in that area.

    I identify much with the woman in Luke 7. The Lord used that passage in my life, in fact, to give me the assurance of his calling on my life. He encouraged me that he had a unique calling for me that would be rejected, that would be misunderstood, that would come under condemnation of men, and it has in spades, but that he honored me, and that I am doing a beautiful thing for him, not of my own accord, and not out of trying hard, but in just submitting to my Lord and in allowing him to work through me for his honor and glory, being willing to accept rejection from those who don’t understand what God is doing through me.

    So, thank you, too, for reaching out to me, and thank you, as well, for letting the Lord work in your heart with regard to me, and for being willing to accept me for who I am in Christ, even if you don’t understand fully why God made me the way that I am, and what God is doing through my life for his purposes and for his glory. But, like you said, that’s ok. We don’t have to understand it all to accept one another in Christ for the unique individuals God made us to be.

    Blessings to you and to your family! Thank you, too, for your prayers. The Lord has been putting you on my heart much, too, so I am praying for you, as well. To God be the glory! Sue

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    • Bruce says:

      I probably chose the wrong words when I said you were trying hard, what I should have said is I can see how steadfastly you walk with the Lord. It’s kind of amazing how God can turn us around. Short story, I’m grateful and thankful and as you say, to God be the glory! Have a great day Sue!

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      • Sue Love says:

        Yes, Bruce, God’s grace to us is simply amazing! He can take any one of us and turn us around for his purposes and for his glory no matter where we have been or what we have been through or what we have done. And, that just shows that it is him and that it is not us, for our natural default would be to go back to who we were. And, we couldn’t, in our own strength or willpower, do the things that only he can do through us, for his glory and honor and praise. So, when we are weak we are strong in his might and power to do what can only be done through him by his grace. So, just know that I appreciate you, Bruce, and I am glad you are still in my life. You encourage my heart, and I hope I encourage yours, too.

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      • Bruce says:

        You do Sue, you truly do.

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