Faith: Trusting God's Love
Over the years I have never heard faith defined this way. It wasn’t until within the last month that I really came to the conclusion that this is faith. True faith trusts in the fact that God loves us and knows and tries to lead us to what is in our best interest. Yet I have never heard it preached.
As my birthday came around this year, I thought back to my first birthday after conversion. I remember not really wanting to get any gifts, but I also remember a prayer that I made. In my time with God, I asked for a high temperature of 76 degrees Fahrenheit that day with mostly clear skies. The weather forecast didn’t look too promising with rain on the way, but I thought that surely since my parents wanted to do something for my birthday that my heavenly Father would also. So I laid the request out there expecting that if that would be best He would do it, and if not that He wouldn’t, but I couldn’t see the harm in having one nice day. Not only was it 76 degrees with mostly clear skies, the church had potluck, I got to fellowship with my friends for longer than usual, and after the meal I got to ride in a convertible with the top down to our weekly Bible study. It was a great day far exceeding what I asked.
Memory lane took me to a time a few years later when I made the same request for different reasons. It had been a tough semester when my birthday came around this time. I was adjusting to the workload of the IT department, my heart had just been recently broken, the weather hardly ever seemed to be sunny in the canvassing program I was in, putting it simply I was miserable. So I asked for another 76 degree clear day because I wondered if God cared. That year was a partly cloudy day that was considerably colder than what I asked for.
The difference between the two occasions is very important. It was the same day of the year with the same request, but different reasons behind the request. When I initially asked for that kind of beautiful weather, it was because I knew God cared. The second time it was to prove if God did care. I didn’t really understand why God didn’t answer my prayer the second time, but there was a reason. I didn’t believe in His love for me or that my best interest was on His heart, and that is why my request could not be answered.
Disbelief in the love of God is what has led to the fall of many. Lucifer lost faith in the fact that God had his best interests at heart, and as a result went at work to secure his own good. The rest of the fallen angels also lost sight of this thinking that God was holding back something good from them. Eve questioned God’s provision for all her needs as she sought wisdom at the forbidden tree, and Adam feared that his dying wife was all the provision God would make for him. Sin started with all of these unfallen beings through disbelief in the selfless, loving character of God and that He takes care of all withholding nothing good. “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23. If we took the time to examine our decisions, we might realize that this unbelief is at the foundation of every mistake we have ever made.
When we realize and fully believe that God cares for us and knows what is best, we will not scoff at His admonitions but cherish them, we will not vacillate between right and wrong and we wouldn’t struggle as we do. Why you may ask? Who would want to settle for second best? If God has our best interest at heart, whatever He asks of us is to that end. Yet in my own experience every failure has been marked by my trying to manage things for my best good when if I had trusted God’s dealings I would have suffered a lot less if not at all. We will only obey God as we see that He has our interests covered and that we need not worry about those things under His care.
These thoughts are reinforced by the following quotation (which I ended up reading not long after contemplating these things), “Faith is trusting God–believing that He loves us and knows best what is for our good. Thus, instead of our own, it leads us to choose His way. In place of our ignorance, it accepts His wisdom; in place of our weakness, His strength; in place of our sinfulness, His righteousness. Our lives, ourselves, are already His; faith acknowledges His ownership and accepts its blessing. Truth, uprightness, purity, have been pointed out as secrets of life’s success. It is faith that puts us in possession of these principles.” Education 253.