Have faith not in the result but in the One who controls it

| January 8, 2016

having-faith

Many times, we are told and reminded by people around us to have faith. Have faith that things will work out well, have faith that we will get the job we desire, have faith that we will get the sale we need. But is that really what faith is about?

The fact of the matter is, unless God specially reveals His desired outcome, we usually have no idea what the outcome will be. Is it God’s perfect desire for us to own that dream home? Is it God’s plan for us to get that perfect job? We do not know. So how can we have faith for something that we are not even sure if it is God’s intended will in the first place?

I was reminded of this just this morning, when God just surfaced the lesson of the disciples and Jesus on the boat when a huge storm threatened to drown them. At first glance, we quickly jump to the conclusion that the disciples deserved to be rebuked by Jesus for lack of faith, because, afterall, Jesus will surely protect them and ensure their safety isn’t it?

Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
– Matthew 8:23-26

Ask that same question to the thousand of martyrs for Christ. Ask this question to Paul, or to most of the disciples who ended up having their lives cut short for the sake of the gospel. Did Jesus guarantee their ‘safety’? No. And no where in the Bible does it promise that we will always be ‘safe’ from harm. No where does it say that we will not have accidents, or that God will prevent a boat you are travelling in from capsizing. So is it hard to believe that the disciples in the boat were crying out to Jesus to protect them? No, simply because they really do not know for sure if they are going to drown that very day.

So then, why did Jesus rebuke them?

I believe that Jesus gave that harsh rebuke not because they were fearful for their lives but because they failed to put their lives into the hands of their Savior. Recall the story of queen Esther when she decided to go before the king to intercede for her people without being summoned by the king. In those days, if you come to the king without being called, the king could have you beheaded if he was in a bad mood.

Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai:
“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”
– Esther 4: 15,16

Did Esther know whether God was surely going to save her life? No. But look at her response, it was one that really demonstrated what faith is all about. ‘If I perish, I perish.’ It was not a matter of resignation, but it was simply committing her life to God and trusting that if God chose not to save her life when she went before the king, He must have awesome reasons for it! Contrast that to the disciples in the boat. Their response and Jesus’ response tells us that they did not have the same faith that Esther demonstrated. They feared for their lives and didn’t trust the person they called their Lord with their lives. And that is why Jesus was disappointed in them.

You may be in a situation where you are desperately praying for something and may have told yourself to have faith that God is going to give you what you need so badly. But did God reveal to you that what you want is really what He wants for you? If He did, that is great and you must then have faith to lay hold of what He has promised you. However, if He has not specifically revealed His plans for you in what you are praying about, then you should still have faith, but not in the outcome but in the heart of our loving Father, who knows what is best for us and wants the very best for us.

We need to be able to say to God, like Esther did, ‘If I perish, I perish.’ Or in our own context, if I do not get what I want or even need, so be it. God knows best and I want to walk in His will, even if it means suffering or even death. If God does not give you what you are praying for, are you ok with it? Can you trust that God has good reasons for not granting us our wishes and desires? That is the true basis of faith, believing in the heart of the Father even if He does not give us what we think we really need.

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Category: Anxiety & Problems, Faith, Reflections

About the Author ()

I have been a follower of Christ for more than 20 years now. Started from a Methodist church, then went on to a few charasmatic churches and again back to a Methodist church now. Thus I have experienced and seen a wide flavor of different denominations. Personally, I consider myself non-denominational as I can worship in many different styles. The important thing is that I follow the gospel and love Jesus. I am currently serving as a musician and a worship leader in my church. I believe that my calling is to help others enter into the presence of God through worship. I also enjoy teaching and discipling other believers, which is the main reason why this site was started. I hope to find other believers to join me in this cause to reach out and encourage other believers.

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