WHAT are the advantages and dispensations for faith? What, in this life, can we cling to in order that our faith may prove worthy of its own regard in this life?
Here are seven ways faith, overall, helps us to live the overcoming life:
1. In pain, in spite of everything, God’s light empowers us to endure. Because we can endure, we must. It’s sometimes the only solace we can give our pain — to hang on in there, and to not give up.
2. In trial, in spite of injustice, God’s light empowers us to be patient. Doing nothing would seem easy, except when to do nothing torments us. Even in the midst of trial — a hardship most grotesque — we must verily hold to God’s account of timing and method. His purpose must be served, and then we are blessed.
3. In testing, in spite of fear, God’s light empowers our reliance of faith. We ought to pray that times and situations of testing pique at our awareness. If we know we are being tested — and we identify our fears — we can easily institute faith to proceed, wisely, with caution.
4. In failure, in spite of disappointment, God’s light empowers us to persist. We get down on ourselves too much in this life when we could see failure as an opportunity — to get it right next time or the time after. Grace accorded to us, personally, empowers persistence.
5. In temptation, in spite of weakness, God’s light empowers us to be faithful. In overcoming those weaknesses that bear over us we have the key to overcoming them when we are faithful. To be consistent, day in, day out; that’s what we need to be.
6. In betrayal, in spite of hurt, God’s light empowers us where to trust again. People will hurt us, just as much as we are destined, ourselves, to hurt others. When we see this as a fact of life in relationship with others, we learn the point is simply when and where and how to trust again.
7. In despair, in spite of fatigue, God’s light empowers us to trust again in hope. Despair’s destiny is to find itself in hope. The very presence of despair is the clearest evidence of hope — a hope dashed. But the boldest hope is outbound of despair. The person who despairs, yet can hope again (and again), is tenaciously resilient and spiritually mature.
In the harder times of life we can and should remind ourselves that this, too, shall pass, for all things are passing away, from the perspective of heaven.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.