Do you ever doubt God? Does your trust in His promises, His love and His goodness and His mercy, ever waver? It’s okay, you can be honest about it. If you’re human (and I’m pretty sure we all are, let me know if I’m wrong), I daresay you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Life’s rolling along just fine and dandy for you until one morning – CRASH! – something ugly lands in front of you, completely blocking the path you were traveling on. You jump back, startled, and immediately begin worrying or fretting. And it keeps going from there. You turn your gaze from the One who calms the storms to the waves crashing at your feet, the winds of trouble whipping around you, the lightning-flashes of sorrow and frustration. You stop looking at the One who does everything right, and start focusing on all those little things that seem so wrong.
And your faith wavers. You might not like to admit it, but you start wondering if this is really God’s plan for me right now, or if maybe I did something to deserve all this trouble – as if God could ever be surprised, or as though His love depends on our goodness. You start doubting, because you are human, and still susceptible to the lusts of the flesh and the wiles of the devil.
So what to do about it? Take a look at Romans 4 (if you’re following the TTB12 plan this passage should look familiar). Paul writes about Abraham, the great father of our faith (and of many nations), and reiterates some of the troubles he faced along his life’s journey. First, God called him to leave his homeland and travel to an unknown country (Genesis 12:1-4). He had to leave behind family, memories, comfort, his home and possessions… I doubt he expected that roadblock. Then, he was promised innumerable descendants, yet his wife was already past her time to bear children. Another roadblock in his journey! And then, once Isaac finally came along, God commanded Abraham to kill his only true son! He just faced difficulty after difficulty after difficulty. And yet, remember what it says about Abraham’s faith being counted as righteousness? God wanted him to be faithful and obedient and just, but even more than that, He wanted him to have faith. He wanted Abraham to believe unwaveringly that God would fulfill His promises. So how did he do it? Read what Paul writes:
“No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Romans 4:20-21).
He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God. We don’t have to just sit back and wait for those roadblocks to “disappear.” We aren’t supposed to just “grin and bear it.” No! We are called to do something, to actively respond to those boulders of difficulty that land in our paths. We are to give glory to God! To praise Him. To live solely for His pleasure. To do what pleases Him.
And our faith will grow stronger as we do so! Those doubts will begin melting away as you actively offer praise to God. Those worries will become insignificant as you seek His pleasure in your thoughts and words and actions.
You will grow strong in your faith as you give glory to God, being fully convinced that God is able to do what He has promised.