Who Said Faith is Easy?
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
Those who leave footprints of faith on the path of difficulty are the people we look to for guidance. It is their lives that we study and their words that we quote. They inspire us to press on with hope. Their perseverance becomes its own sermon.
These people trust God when there is little reason to do so. This is the mark of spiritual greatness. They walk through darkness guided by a light only visible to the eyes of faith. Such people tower above all civilizations as citizens of a greater country. Some are listed in the famed hall of faith found in Hebrews 11.
Abraham was one such person. He rose from a pagan world to worship and serve the true and living God. His faith was severely tested when God led him to a land plagued with drought. He failed the test, ran to Egypt and nearly lost his wife and his life. Still, he got up, brushed himself off with God's forgiving love and developed a faith that prepared him to sacrifice his own son should that be God's will.
Jeroboam was called by God to be the first king of the northern tribes. Despite his encounter with the Almighty, he failed in faith. Fearing for the security of his throne, he stooped low to build high places. This disgrace of disobedience left shallow footprints that no one desired to follow.
Jeremiah's faith was rubbed threadbare while watching evil people succeed. Following God's rebuke, the prophet went on to trust God's wisdom in timing of judgment.1 As a result, he left deep footprints of faith for us to follow.
A large number of our biblical stories are dedicated to those whose faith was tested to the breaking point. They experienced storm-tossed seas, devouring beasts, violent people, wild winds, raging floods, famine; all of which drove them to a deeper faith.
Therefore, the mark of great faith is not so much about miracles as it is about endurance against all odds. It is not basking on the Mount of Transfiguration but rather battling demons in dark valleys. It is not lazing on idyllic ponds of ease but rather passing through violent floods. It is not tanning in flowered meadows but rather overcoming treacherous flames.
Everyone's faith is fragile at first, then, becomes fortified with strength on the path of difficulty. That is where we prove God to be true to His Word.
Steadfast faith in God never once lost a battle. Even the prophets who were martyred moved the world closer to the end of evil. The blood of today's martyrs is doing the same. These people are fearless of loss. They know by faith that incomparable gain lies before them.
Why is the testing of our faith so critical? The answer is simple, yet profound. The eye of our God searches daily for those who are tried, tested and made fit to reign with His Son.
As the elders sing on high "Worthy is the Lamb," may each ransomed follower leave worthy footprints of faith in the paths of suffering. May young believers coming behind you leap from one footprint to another as they learn the stride of faith.
Immanuel: God is with you!
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