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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

November 9, 2018

Persisting in faith

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In our faithless age (Luke 18:8), how can we have living, active faith? Let's not be discouraged if we think we sometimes lack faith. Sometimes people who profess belief in God are deeply ashamed when a crisis occurs and they find their faith is weak. This may happen to us. But let's not despair. The Bible shows that even men and women of powerful faith struggled at times with faith-testing challenges.

The Bible relates their anguish as they wrestled with their trials. Hebrews 11:34 tells us that "out of weakness [they] were made strong." These men and women grew in faith through the crucible of challenges and—at times—setbacks and failures.

Many other men and women of the Bible who professed faith in God cried out when their belief wavered in difficult times. Choosing to obey and serve God will lead to difficulties that challenge our faith. Paul tells us that "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). We need to go to God asking for His help to build a loving, trusting, faithful relationship with Him that will enable us to endure such trials.

Maybe we are like the father who came to Christ with a severe problem: His son was demon-possessed, and the father wanted Christ to heal him. When Jesus told him "all things are possible to him who believes," the man knew his faith was weak. In his anguish and tears he cried out to Christ, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:23-24).

Jesus did not condemn or refuse to help the man whose faith was weak. Nor will He turn us away when our faith is weak. But there is something we should do under these circumstances. Our faith takes its stand based on the sure Word of God, which stands forever: "All flesh is as grass . . . But the word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Peter 1:24-25). The people of faith whose stories the Bible preserves for us took their stand on the Word of God. They believed God.

Let us remember what faith is. In its simplest form, faith is believing God will do what He says He will do (Romans 4:20-21). To know what God says to us, we must read the Bible, God's revealed words to us. It tells us how He wants us to live. It tells us what He will do for us. It includes many accounts of His dealings with and intervention for individuals and all mankind.

God promises a better reward (Hebrews 11:40) for those who devote their lives to seeking the Kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33). Our belief in this coming Kingdom is, in itself, an act of faith. This is because we do not now see the Kingdom of God, but God tells us it will be a reality. Maintaining a clear vision of the magnificent future and remembering God's promise of comfort help us grow in true faith.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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