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September 4, 1996

A Mature Faith

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“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” PSALM 77:7-9
No one enjoys difficulty, conflict, and hard times. We like for things to go well. We like for the waters to be smooth and the road to be straight. It gives us a sense of God’s blessing and favor upon us. We know then that He is opening doors for us and making situations and circumstances come together. We can see His hand at work, which confirms our decisions and lets us know that we have heard His voice and answered His calling correctly.
But what happens when things change?
At some point, winter will come. Night will fall. Things will not go as planned. Where is God then? Has He pulled back His blessings? Did we miss His directions? Are we outside of His will for our lives?
Sometimes this is the case. After all, we are only human. Our ability to discern and follow God’s direction is flawed at best. It is a skill we have to learn—a relationship we must continually nurture and cultivate. Otherwise we will go astray. But what about those times when we know we heard His voice and then suddenly all hell breaks loose? What happened?
More than likely, nothing. Following Christ is a mysterious and wonderful thing. It is filled with risk-taking, faith-stretching adventure, and it is also filled with times that seem lonely, isolated, and confusing.
But a mature faith knows that this too shall pass. A mature faith does not require a sign to be convinced of God’s direction, and does not abandon the call at the first sign of conflict. A mature faith expects troubles along the path, and holds on through the night—calling out for the One Who can lead him to the light.
Our faith will mature during the trials of life, not during the high times. High times are the breaks in the action. They are the resting points along the path, not the destination. If you are in or entering one of these seasons, do not give up, lose hope, or let go. This too shall pass, and the increase of your faith is worth the wait.

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