None of us like having our faith tested. Yet when hard times hit us, we cry out to God—and that’s a good thing. We have no choice but to trust Him more when life spirals out of our control. When tough stuff happens, we more clearly see our need to depend on God. It seems that our faith grows the most when life gives us its worst.
On my journey as FaithWalker, I have discovered this reality: the only thing harder than trusting God when you have nothing, is trusting God when you have something. When we stepped out to answer God’s call, and faced a mortgage payment due in three days with no way to pay, we had no choice but to trust God. When we had six children to feed with almost no income for nearly a year, we had to trust God to give us food.
But when we came out on the other side of that transition and began to be blessed with ways to meet the needs ourselves, our faith didn’t seem quite so necessary. Key word: seem. From God’s perspective, nothing had changed, but from our perspective, we no longer needed to trust God for our next meal or mortgage payment.
It can be tough to step out before you know how it all turns out. But I have found the greater test to be the one that requires sustainable faith, the kind that remains fit and active over time instead of settling on the last plateau. When we settle, we get into trouble. Look no further than the Israelites after they entered the Promised Land to see how easily faith can vanish after seeing God’s miraculous provision.
So what are we to do? Someone in political circles famously said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Should we manufacture a crisis in order to keep our faith fixed on God?
The answer is yes. Sort of.
We grow and change for one of two reasons: an unavoidable crisis pushes us, or a compelling vision pulls us.
We all know the first option pretty well. We get an unexpected diagnosis and cry out to God for healing and strength. Our company shuts its doors so we must deal with the reality of unexpected unemployment. In short, when stuff happens that is outside the bounds of our control, it pushes us toward greater dependence on God. The crisis comes from our recognizing the gap between where we are and where we need to be in order to survive. We may like the outcome of increased faith, though not the means required to get there.
But there is another way. We can create a crisis in which our faith can grow when we set our sights on accomplishing something too big for us to handle on our own. We have no choice then but to rely on God in greater measure to achieve what is otherwise unattainable.
The gap between where we are and where we could be creates a crisis within that pulls us forward toward something greater–without waiting for something bad to push us into greater faith.
This vision for the future doesn’t have to be something flashy, like selling all you own and moving to Africa to run an orphanage. It can be something seemingly mundane, like committing to love your spouse unconditionally in the face of marital struggles, or pursuing a dream that seems out of reach.
One thing is sure, God will grow our faith. But I can’t help but wonder how often He defaults to a crisis that pushes us to grow because we won’t embrace a crisis that pulls us toward greater faith.
Question: Has your faith ever grown as a result of attempting something for God that you knew was beyond your own strength? Share your thoughts by clicking here.