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Wednesday: The Flip Side of Faith — 19 Comments

  1. Why do I trust the LORD?
    Firstly because of the over whelming evidence in the Bible that He is trustworthy.
    Secondly because of experiencing my grandparents, my mother trusting the LORD.
    Thirdly because I have experienced through out my life how the LORD has loved me and looked after me through all my ups and downs, every step of the way.
    Fourthly I have seen him working in my daughter's life especially since her husband left her with two little children. She lost her job through no fault of her own and her ex took her to court to take the children. She has two degrees and she sent out 300 CVs and got no responses. Then she was called for one interview, but didn't hear anything further. When everything look hopeless and she was days away from losing her children she got a phone call saying she had got the job!
    We know it was the LORD working in her life because nothing we could do had worked. This is just the last in a long line of wonders He has done.

    But most of all I trust and love Him because He is daily changing Me to be more loving and kind, because I feel His loving presence around Me, because He shows me His beautiful character in His Word daily, He gives me a purpose for living.

  2. Ms.dee Beer I had a similar experience.I lost my job and I prayed, just when I was about to give up I was back on the same job with a promotion! I WOULD NEVER STOP PRAISING GOD.There are numerous reasons for me to keep trusting Him.

  3. I am blessed by the recommendation in today's lesson to "just pray our way through it," meaning our periods of doubt and failing faith. Many believers I am sure, like me, have assume we have faith, one that is impervious to doubt, until experience teaches us otherwise. I remember spending time with a church sister who was dying from cancer. She was sometimes difficult, I thought, unable to be the good Seventh Day Adventist she should be and "count it all joy." We would sing and encourage, read scripture and pray, and at times was impatient with her for not always being agreeable. I questioned, where is her faith.

    Then I fell ill and realized that illnesses a tiring, painful, and overall difficult experience to go through. I prayed for my pain to go away and it did not, and I became the disagreeable person, doubting, questioning God. Sometimes the best option is to pray through the illness and through our doubts. God takes our imperfect faith, blesses it, and we come through the other side of our struggles with a deeper love for him and increased faith. My experience of being with my church sister through her failed battle with cancer taught me to empathize with those who are struggling with doubt especially under trying circumstances. I know now that God understood her pains as he understood mine, and the little ounce of faith that I had that He was still there, even though I wondered why he would not relieve my suffering, He acknowledged and held on to me when I could not hold as strongly as I should onto Him. From now on I will encourage my fellow suffers to, when they cannot manage anything else in the face of doubt inducing struggles, to pray through it. Jesus, I am convinced, prays along with us. Imagine the power that comes through his incredibly perfect faith!

    • Hi Grace, Thank you for your post. As I started to read it my mind said: Where in the lesson is that? When I found it I saw that I had already underlined the second half of the sentence. Now for me the first half of the sentence is the kernel of this week's lesson. None of us can do the things that we ask God for, but all of us can "pray our way through it".

  4. My trust in God has deepened with each trial because each experience has taught me that God is my gentle Shepherd who leads me through each experience at a pace only he knows I can bear. I don't have to figure out what to do; I trust God to show me what I need to do. It is His strength working through me that has taken me through experiences I never thought I would face in my life. I am content in God and trust Him completely(Philippians 4:11-13)

  5. 1. His Word is True
    2. He has come through for me in the past, present and will remain the same in the future.
    3. God cannot lie.
    4. He has been there in the details of my family and relatives

  6. I trust because I believe in all those old prophets and kings who made choices and received consequences of those choices. Either blessings or curses. God has never changed. When I choose to walk in His ways, I receive blessings. When I take off on my own path, I receive the consequences of those choices. Man, are those dreadful sometimes but I can not blame the Almighty because He loves me allows me to do that. I'm not saying that trials never come when we walk in His ways but can you imagine going through the trial WITHOUT GOD? His infinite love, protection and wisdom is ever abounding to me EVEN when I fail. He carries through those consequences and helps me to remember them so that I don't make that choice again. I lived through a life of abuse and as people in church saw me later in life and had learned how severe the abuse was, they say, "I am so surprised your are here!" Well, there are several churches to go to and I admit I've been to other denominations as I was so hurt by living through a harsh Adventist home BUT I never left GOD! WHERE ELSE IS THERE? WHO ELSE IS THERE? Where could I go but to the Lord!

    • Who indeed, Sister Catherine. You echoed Peter's words, when the Lord asked the twelve, "Will ye also go away?" Then Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go..."John 6:67,68. May God continue to richly bless you and keep you. He is so faithful and worthy of our praise.

  7. The context before James 1:6-8 is referring to asking for wisdom, thus leading to James saying that when we ask for wisdom, we should ask in faith and not doubt. Is seems though, that James 1:6-8 is often lifted out in isolation, and is thus used as a passage to speak about whenever we ask God for anything(which is general), not just in terms of wisdom (which is specific). My question/concern is: isn't this how people end up feeling guilty or blame themselves when they've prayed for healing, for example, and the healing hasn't taken place----because they're led to believe that they didn't pray with enough faith or that somehow they've doubted? Doesn't this rationale lead to the erroneous "word of faith" movement? Should we use this passage as a broad brush stroke when it comes to the subject of making our requests know to God? (Or am I totally off base here? If so, thanks for helping me to figure this out.)

    • Marie, I think you are right concerning the context in James but I also think there is justification for looking at that text in a broader sense. For instance Jesus said, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (Jn. 14:13-14 NKJV). It is quite obvious that what Jesus said was in reference to doing the works of Christ but even that could be taken more generally than thought.

      I am not advocating here that Jesus is going to grant all our frivolous little wants but I do think many of them will be granted if nothing else than for us to see the power of prayer and to know that He really cares for us. Let me share with you one such experience I had.

      Many years ago before I retired I was a truck driver, mostly working freight in short haul transportation that brought me back home every evening. At that particular time the company I worked for only had two trucks both of which were single axel units with the one I drove having a box on the back, and there was only me and the owner (big operation!). It wasn't too long after that I wished that I could drive a real semi but that didn't seem to be possible.

      As the freight business grew I found myself having to make several trips a day to deliver all the freight, and one day in frustration I decided to go to the parent company and borrow one of their semi trucks so that I could just hook up to the trailer our freight came in and take the whole thing in one trip. Well, to cut to the chase, the dumb thing disconnected from the truck on the road and put the trailer in the ditch.

      At that point my boss said that it was time to get a semi of our own, and that sent me dreaming about what kind of a truck I could possibly end up with. Well shortly after that I happened to see a truck for sale in the community I delivered to and thought "now that is what I need." It was a short single axel half cab with a diesel engine with a nice big fuel tank which I needed.

      My boss, however, was looking down in Denver which was quite a distance from northern Montana where we were so hope sank and I just left the whole matter in the hands of the Lord. Within a month my boss found a truck in Denver and brought it up to us by way of one of parent company trucks. When it arrived I couldn't believe my eyes. It was almost identical to the one I saw while delivering freight. I knew it was different but it was the same make and body style. Can we say prayer answered? But it didn't stop there.

      A couple of years later the thing wore out and once again my boss was on the lookout for another truck. Well as things are with sinful man I began to complain to myself that what I needed was something with more power, two axels, and power steering. In both cases I never mentioned anything about my wants except in silent prayer, mostly grumbling. Soon the new truck arrived and I got everything I wanted.

      A couple of years later it was time for another and this time I knew that I needed yet more power because I was being used by the parent company for medium haul trucking using two trailers and grossing up to 106,000 lbs or more. Guess what! It happen again, I got everything I dreamed of having. A few years later I grumbled again and thought that I also needed a good jake brake (engine retarder) so that I didn't have to rely completely on my brakes which can become a problem with mountain passes. Once again I got exactly what I wished for.

      Now some might call it coincidence but I know better. What I got was very specific to what I was privately wishing for and I never told anyone. As Daniel said, "But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets" (Dan. 2:28 NKJV), the one who knows in detail what we think, the one who is in control of everything and I am convinced that He engineered all of that for me. It wasn't because I was that good and it wasn't necessary for salvation or for witnessing but He did it anyway because that is the kind of God we serve who gives gifts to his children even though they may not be what they should be.

      Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matt. 7:7-11 NKJV)

      • Tyler,
        Your experiences with trucks just show and affirm that our God finds ways to humor His children. Imagine how He gives you the trucks with the same specs. I myself find God's humor very uplifting. Thanks for sharing.


  8. I have faith, trust & believe our Heavenly Farther with all my heart. There are many times that I have prayed for things to be better in many different circumstances, many have been granted & some not, but which ever way I believe that God knows what is best for me , for us all, He will never forsake me. I praise God forever always,

  9. Shirley thanks for sharing your testimony it was so encouraging. Faith grows and becomes strong through God's loving watchcare over us especially during times of adversity. Let us strive to remain faithful to Him during trials because a wealth of blessings await us if we put our trust in Him.

  10. We are putting faith to the to the test, putting faith into practice, strengthening our faith in God. Now that is much better than loathing in doubt. I realize that loathing in sin is how we come to true repentence , deep sincere sorrow for our sins, but loathing in doubt only causes degradation of the soul.
    Yes our experiences in trusting God do keep us on the side of faith.
    For a year my my retnia specialist has been watching a spot on tha back of my eye rather closly. For a year I prayed, "Lord don't let it get larger." It has the appearence and charactor of a melanoma. He has given me my request. It has not increasted in size. Last year it was 200 microns. This year it is 200 microns. My eye doctor tells me my diagnosis is now a nevi, see you in one year. Did my faith increase, you bet ya? Did I quit praying for Him to keep it from growin? No. Do I trust Him more? Is my faith increased? Yes and Yes.

    • John, I am glad that the problem in your eye is at least stabilized and may it someday disappear. I do think that such experiences in seeing the hand of God in our lives will in the long run prove to be extremely valuable to us especially as we approach the time of trouble.

      It reminds me of the text in Malachi about tithes where it says, "'try Me now in this,' Says the LORD of hosts" (Mal. 3:10 NKJV). While we are not to tempt God He does seem to tell us that there are times when He wants us to test His faithfulness to us. He wants us to have a steadfast faith in Him that is proven by experience.

      This whole thing is one reason that I think it was a horrible mistake for the General Conference to terminate the investment projects that we had decades ago. I remember accounts from people that engaged in that activity and the experience they had really raised their faith. They could see God doing miracles and such testimonies as that encouraged the entire church.

  11. Last year year this time, I had major surgery. God was with me through other challenging times but never under anesthesia. We prayed and all went well.

    During my recovery period, my husband passed, God was good, he was a faithful man and had a relationship with God that encouraged me. There were people in place that helped me through it.

    Three weeks after my husband died, my house flooded. I remember walking down the stairs and seeing 1-2 inches of water covering the entire first floor.

    The Lord was so good to me up to that point in my life that I said, "Father, if the water's there, You must've given me the strength to deal with it. I was surprised at my response. Without grumbling or complaining I cleaned the area, washed everything and started the process for repairs. It's taken almost a year to finish it.

    It's been tough at times, but I'm learning to pray instead of whine and complain as much.

    I thank God for His presence and the learning that is still taking place in my life. I haven't begun to tell of the new job, when the weight of loss was too much for me to continue my old one. There were many escapes and times when I had no faith, but God showed me what to do and is still rescuing me from bad decisions made to save myself at times.

    There is no other Father, no other comfort.

  12. I think the biggest problem some people have is asking what they are not into! doubt and skepticism; as the writer of the quarterly put it; is a big problem in many believers minds. for example, if Esther maintained the fear of approaching king Ahasuerus on behalf of all the Jews, the date of annihilating them would have arrived way before the 30 days that Esther needed to go back to the king elapsed! so, some times faith is all about risk taking, knowing so well that Jesus is in control. here is my story:
    Where i stay and work, is a country where i have been a refugee for 17 years now. Through these years, the lord has been merciful enough to grant me an education; and later on; employment. as an employee on contract( because i do not qualify for permanent employment which is a reserve for locals); i can only work and never plan about going back to school. Time came when it clicked into my mind and i started praying for God to help me go back to school to further my studies. I had resources and the only thing i needed was permission to work while learning; because resignation from my work would also mean loosing my employment permit and so many other privileges. So i prayed and prayed and prayed. after receiving comfort from God, i applied for school before i even informed my supervisors at work. Fortunately enough, i was accepted at a University and now, with an acceptance letter, i approached my supervisor to narrate my ordeal. The man just gave me a big NO; with alot of other discouraging words; but i was not distracted; i went ahead and got registered and even started attending classes. Due to my predicament, i would only attend classes the are conducted after work or when i am off work.If i attended classes during work hours, i would come in the evenings to pay back the time. time came when my supervisor got wind of it that i was in school and he called me to his office. I was so terrified that time that before going to his office, i went in the bathroom and prayed! Then i went to his office. The man explained the offence i had committed in details and i was listening. at the end of it all, he told me to go and think about it. I assured him that even if i was in school, i would work a complete number of hours but he could still not allow me. Anyhow, i continued working, learning and praying. God more or less made this man forget about my case until he got retired and someone else took over from him. Right now i am 3/4 through the Masters program i am doing and now the new supervisor wants me to either resign or stop school. I am on my knees still more because i believe that God who made his predecessor bear with me will also make this new man bear with me. If i had gotten discouraged and doubted, i would not be where i am today. I have so many unfortunate situations happening in my life but i am glad God is always overboard, when i engage in a serious prayer, he hears me and shows me the way. Sometimes i feel like putting on a sackloth like Mordecai! i know all is well because God's promises are sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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