Hebrews 6:18-19

"We who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul."
-Hebrews 6:18-19 #livelifeanchored

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Mustard Seed in Tragedy

“I know You're able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don't
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well good thing
A little faith is all I have, right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul” 
-Even If, by MercyMe

It’s one thing to have faith in God. It’s another thing to have faith in what God can do. And yet, it’s another thing to have faith when God chooses not to do what He can do. 

Faith isn’t just about believing in God, or believing that He can move mountains. Faith is believing in God and still believing that God can move mountains even when He doesn’t. 

I’ve seen God move mountains, and in those moments its simple to have faith in what God can do.

 But, I’ve also seen heartbroken people begging and praying for God to move, but their situation doesn’t change, or it worsens. I’ve seen families torn apart, tragedies strike over and over again, stories of shootings and bombings on the news…It is those moments when it seems as if God hasn’t moved, that our faith starts to shake. It is those moments when we wonder what good is our faith if bad things still happen.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” –Hebrews 11:1

Not only is faith confidence in the things that we hope for, but faith is assurance about the unseen. This means that when we don't see or understand the things that God does, it's our faith that has to lead us to confidence in God's power, in His goodness, and in His plan. I honestly cringe and ache a little inside as I write those words. Not because I don't mean it and believe it, but because no matter how hard I try, I can never understand the depth of pain that other people go through when tragedy strikes. And because for me when hurricanes erupt in my life, I know that my faith has been shaken to the core and my assurance turns into doubting and painful questions.

In those moments it’s hard to see or understand what God is doing, or even what God isn’t doing, will you still have faith? Will you still be confident in God’s power? Will you still have faith in what God can do? Will you be sure of who God is and what His plan is, despite how you feel about it?

I'm one of those people that doesn't really know how to comfort people when they're hurting. This is probably because I oftentimes get irritated when people try to understand the way that I'm feeling. Just like how no one can truly get inside someone's head and understand all their thoughts and feelings, we can't understand how tragedy and struggle are a part of God's plan. But they are. And this rings true throughout Scripture, and through the death of Christ on the cross. The most righteous man to ever walk the earth was killed unfairly in the most gruesome way you could imagine, but that pain was a part of God's good plan--because just a few days later Jesus rose and was alive again. 

But what is going to get you through those few days when the darkness is still surrounding you? What hope are you going to hold onto while you wait for your circumstances to change?

One of my favorite stories in Scripture is when Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his own son. No questions asked, Abraham sets off with Isaac the very next morning to do what God asked him to do. I can’t imagine that Abraham could even fathom why God was asking him to do this, but having faith in what God could do, Abraham continued on. Abraham went as far as tying his son up to the altar, and taking out his knife to kill him. But then, God moved.

Abraham probably had absolutely no idea what God was doing, but he had faith anyways. 

I don’t like not knowing. I question why God allows certain things to happen. I wonder why God chooses not to act when He does. I question God’s timing. My faith is far too small. 

But I want to be like Abraham. I want to be a Christ-follower who has faith that God will act, even in uncertainty. I want to be someone who believes that God can move mountains, even when He doesn’t. I want to be someone who doesn’t have to know or understand what God is doing…Then, even when I don’t know— I want to be someone that clings to faith and assurance in who God is even in the unseen.

I've read, seen, and heard of a lot of tragedy these last few weeks. Wildfires are burning and creating chaos in houses burning down and property being destroyed. Families are getting heartbreaking diagnoses of cancer and disease. People are losing loved ones suddenly and desperately trying to cope with what they don't understand. 

As you read this, if you find yourself in a position of hurt and wondering what God is doing through those painful circumstances in your life, I won't try to understand how you are feeling. Instead, I want to remind you that even if your faith is as small as it has ever been, cling to it and let God carry you through the storm. 

Have the faith of Abraham when you can, but when you can’t find that kind of great faith within you, try to find even just a mustard seed of faith. 
Stop trying to figure out the why, the why not, and the how come…even if it’s just for a moment. Because understanding the hand of God is something we will never come to terms with until we meet Him face-to-face.
Instead, just rest in His promises and hold on to that mustard seed of faith. Find assurance in the truth of God’s goodness, even when what is going on in the world around you and in your life doesn’t seem good. Hold onto the hope that the time between Christ's death and resurrection didn't last forever.

The smallest faith can move mountains, and you never know when it will.

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
 -Matthew 17:20 

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 
-2 Corinthians 4:17-18

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