by Olivia Reynolds
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
A few months ago, my 5-year old daughter was working on memorizing Hebrews 11:1 and she asked, “Mama, what is faith?” I thought for a second and explained it like this (…to my child who lives in the 21st century): “You know, how we order things from Amazon and then we wait two days and it shows up on our doorstep? You don’t see the package, but you believe it is coming.” Faith works the same way. We can’t see God working sometimes. We don’t understand the how and when He’ll answer our prayers. But we believe it will happen.
It is that unseen and unknown of God’s workings that sometimes makes believing so hard. However, faith is the foundation of our salvation and we continue building on that foundation the rest of our life. Take David for example. As a little shepherd boy, David slew a lion and a bear, rescuing his sheep. These acts of faith were stepping stones to lead to an even bigger story - he had faith in God to fight against Goliath. David said unto Saul, “Thy servant slew both a lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.” I Samuel 17:36 What faith! Full of confidence! As we live a life of faith, even through tests and difficulties, it is this faith we have been building on that gets us through.
Our faith will grow our confidence in God so that we may persevere victoriously and begin to live in expectation of God’s faithfulness no matter what we face.
I can personally testify to God’s faithfulness in my life where He guided me and my family through some hard places.
As a 16-year old, I buried my 37-year old dad after a long fight with cancer. It took a period of wrestling in questions and grief to find the faith that believes God’s ways are much higher than mine. (Isaiah 55:9) Little by little, I began to see that God works all things for good (Romans 8:28) and I became convinced that His ways can always be trusted.
I struggled through years of infertility longing for a child and this trial wreaked havoc on my marriage, which by the world’s standards should have fallen apart. Through this challenge, prayer became my lifeline, my direct connection with God, who I had learned to be sovereign. Prayer is real and powerful – God listens to every word. He heard my pleas, held my marriage together when it was crumbling, and after over 10 years of waiting, blessed me with children.
When changes and restructuring took place at my job, my husband and I took a step of faith and decided it best for me to be at home with our daughter, trusting the Lord to meet our needs. God blessed that step far beyond our comprehension in replacing my salary two-fold.
After enduring infertility, having a daughter and then expecting our son, we learned of the miscarriage of his twin, which resulted in a test of faith as I underwent an emergency surgery, which could have resulted in the loss of our son’s life. In the face of fear, I chose to cling to faith in God who cannot fail.
All of these steps stretched, strengthened, and grew our faith to take the greatest (wildest) blind leap for our family last year. For a while, my husband and I felt a pull and an urge to leave our familiar little corner of South Carolina and relocate to Savannah, Georgia. “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it, …”” Isaiah 30:21 Did we fully understand why? Did we know how? Absolutely not. We simply felt it strongly in our heart and didn’t want to live with regrets later, so we wanted to heed His voice. We began to make preparation to follow God and He ordered our every step, big and small. (Psalm 37:23) We sold our home of 13 years without a realtor and without ever placing the For Sale sign in the yard (we actually returned it to Home Depot). Our first inquiry resulted in the sale. Along that process of inspections and appraisal, we anticipated a roadblock or at least at bump in the road, but there were none. As the attorney closed the deal, even he declared, “This is a God thing.” Through each step in the process, God continued to make the way, even when we didn’t see a way, throwing handfuls on purpose along the way, and sending “God smiles” continually reassuring my questioning heart. Yet it still wasn’t without hesitation as I heard the voice of fear and became scared at times.
God showed me that faith and fear are opposite, yet similar, in that, we make a choice to believe in something we cannot see.
Under the pressure of leaving behind family and all I had known, the trust that God would meet me in Savannah in a new and wonderful way was even stronger. I chose faith, sure that God will always help me. He will hold me up with His right hand of righteousness (Isaiah 41:13). We’ve now lived here for six months and I still cannot fully answer the “Why are we here?” Honestly, it might frighten me if God revealed the whole plan. Yet, seeing God’s faithful hand amidst other life tests, assures us we are exactly where He wants us and in time, looking back, we will see how His plan all made sense.
Having faith looks different for all of us. We’ve all taken some courageous leaps a time or two. We choose faith, because God is constant, even when our situations are not. We can be confident that whatever change may be headed our way, God never changes. He will do it! --- not necessarily our way and time, but in His perfect way and time. Trust Him as your faith is built. Pray like never before. Cling to the truth of His Word and His promises. God will equip you.. Take that step in faith. He’ll be right along beside you. And unlike Amazon Prime – He NEVER fails and He ALWAYS delivers! (He just doesn’t always send an email with an estimated delivery time)