Many years ago, my friend was in a supermarket waiting in line to be served. The lady in front of her placed her groceries on the conveyer belt and the cashier rang them up one by one. There were a lot of items on the belt so my friend knew that she had a long wait. You can imagine her shock when the cashier told the lady what she owed for her groceries and the woman replied, “I don’t have any money, but God will send someone to pay.” The cashier was as stunned as my friend. There was a period of silent discomfort, followed by embarrassment and then outright anger as the cashier waited impatiently for the money. The lady seeking to demonstrate her faith said, “Wait, someone will pay, God told me to come and fill my basket with groceries and He would pay for them.” No one paid for her groceries and she left the store outraged that there was no obedient Christian listening to God. Sounds ridiculous I know, but it is a true story!
There have been times in my life that I have exercised faith in the midst of difficult or challenging situations. I have reminded myself that I serve a great God and I have gone to His Word for strength and encouragement. However, I do not think the lady in the story above was exercising faith. In my view, that was pure presumption and revealed a lack of maturity in her Christian journey. She may have loved the Lord, but she certainly had a limited perspective on faith and God. So let me make a few comments about facts and faith.
1. Facts are your friends: Never treat facts as enemies they are your friends – they can help you. You cannot pray or will the facts away. When there is a recession the wisest thing to do is to note it and make decisions on how you can curb your spending. When you are sick you go to the doctor so that your symptoms can be attended to – ignoring your symptoms could aggravate your condition. If you are struggling in a relationship, you find meaningful ways of communicating so that the problem is not exacerbated. Facts help us to make wise decisions – so don’t ignore the facts.
2. Facts do not nullify faith: Confronting the facts does not mean I lack faith. It means I have a keen sense of the obvious! Because I choose to ‘pull in the belt’ during a recession does not negate my faith. I still pray and believe God, I still trust Him to meet my needs, but I play my part by doing what I can to ease the situation. Because I see a doctor does not mean I am not trusting God for my healing. I believe God can touch my body, but I know that God can use the medical profession to help.
3. Facts can enhance your faith: There are times in seemingly impossible situations that the brutal facts have helped me to say, “Only God can accomplish this!” The facts have actually enhanced my faith and my prayer life.
4. Faith does not mean you get everything you pray for: There are countless times God does not answer my prayer in a way I thought He would. At the time, I may have been disappointed. However, from this perspective, and with a bit more wisdom that has come with time, I can say that God’s answer was always right.
It is true there are some things I will never understand. I do not have an answer to some of the problems of life. But as I have grown as a Christ follower I have realized God is significantly more intelligent than I am – His ways are higher than mine, and above all I can trust Him. The facts are there to help you – don’t ignore them use them for your benefit. Once you have faced the facts place your trust in God and believe Him to do what is best! Sometimes facts are brutal. They stare us in the face and they are harsh, but they cannot and should not be ignored just as faith should never be diminished. I pray that despite the facts your day will be blessed and your faith strengthened.
I am and always will be,
Recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,