“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
Has your faith been challenged? Have you considered giving up your faith? What is faith anyway? Can you see faith? If so, what does it look like? My life has often been a battle with the issue of faith. There are times my faith feels strong and unbending and other moments I feel wrought with worry and lack of faith. How can I be so strong one moment and so weak the next? Sometimes life feels like a series of faith stretching experiments intended to create muscle on this invisible aspect of my life.
Getting back in shape is tough. I joined a gym recently for three months hoping to jump-start my out of shape body. This body, weak from a sedentary job and lack of discipline over the last several years needed to start slowly. However, one day I decided to make up for a couple of missed days.
I felt so good on the elliptical machine, and pushed my pace sweating and glorying in my newfound energy. I decided to do weights after and pushed myself a little harder than usual. Then I did a bunch of sit-ups concentrating hard on working the muscles. I felt so good about myself when I got to the locker room. I smugly put my day clothes back on and headed to the car proud of all I had done.
Hours later I started to feel sluggish. A headache came on and I lugged my tired body around wondering what had happened to all of that energy. I tried several times to accomplish some tasks but my body stalled. Exhausted and feeling useless I put a show on for the kids after school and lay down to nap.
I drank water and sports drinks trying to revive my tired body but to no avail. I was done for the day and surrendered to the fact that I had no strength left. My husband came home and I eased him in to my state of exhaustion by announcing leftovers for dinner. Apologetically, I went to bed early hoping for a better tomorrow.
Has that ever happened to you with your faith? Have you felt strong and unstoppable? Has the world felt conquerable to you as you felt confident that all would go well for you and you had the strength to face each challenge only to find soon after you felt discouraged, hopeless, and afraid?
I have learned that faith isn’t about feeling good. It’s not about the mountaintop experiences when you have accomplished something big. It’s about knowing. Knowing that no matter what you are going through God loves you and cares about you. It’s having confidence that he will lead you through even the toughest of circumstances when your not sure you feel him nearby.
It’s the times your prayers seem to go unanswered but you continue to trust him knowing he is working things out in his timing (always better than mine I have learned). It is knowing that even if we are poor on earth we have an inheritance in Heaven waiting for us. Faith has its ups and downs just like exercise. One moment we can run the race with our legs strong underneath us, and other times we ice our wounds and tired legs and wonder why we bother running in the first place.
Are you weary? It’s okay. It just means you have had a good faith workout. Press on and trust that at the end is a prize worth the dedication and time.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1b