Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mountain Moving Faith

A few years ago, I suffered what I considered to be a great loss. Suffice it to say that because of that loss many of the hopes and dreams I had for the future vanished. For weeks, I questioned God about why he had allowed this to happen. Even now, I question why it had to be, though God’s will on the matter has long since been revealed. You know, people say that when God says no it is because he has something better planned. If that’s true, I haven’t seen it, but I will say I learned something about faith.

Many people have the idea that if you ask God for something and have the faith to believe it will happen that it will happen. It’s kind of like the umbrella thing. People have the idea that if you pray for rain and believe it will rain then you’d better start walking around with an umbrella. Well, I can say that I prayed about it. I asked God to give me the thing. I even got to the point where I was convinced that he would give it to me, so much so that for a time I felt better about it. Obviously, he didn’t grant my request or I wouldn’t be writing this post.

The thing is, God knows the future, but he never promised to tell us what it is. Me being convinced that what I wanted would happen—that was all me. Jesus said that if we have just a small amount of faith that we could say to a mountain to be cast into the sea and it would be and yet, I haven’t seen anyone pull that off. The point isn’t that if you have enough faith you can move mountains, but that we’ve already got all the faith we need. The reason we haven’t been able to use that faith to move mountains is because God didn’t want the maintain moved. If God were to tell you that he wanted the mountain moved and then you walked up to it and told it to move, that would be totally different.

Faith is about believing what God says. Much of what God says is in the Bible. When it says he will take care of us, you can bank on it. When he promises a heavenly home, you can bank on it. When it says that he is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask and think, you can count on that too. But it never says that he will give us what we ask for just because we believe he will. If he actually tells us that he will give it to us, he most certainly will, but much of the time we’re left in the dark.

There are times when he tells us which direction he wants us to go. There are times that he leaves us with no other choice. But most of the time, we’re left to make the choice that we think best represents the one the Lord would have us make and we trust that he’ll help us straighten it out if we make a bad choice. We have no promise of tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

I don’t know why God doesn’t reveal more about what he has planned for us than he does. If I had to guess, I would say that it is because he wants us to trust him rather than putting our trust in the future. I think of those authors who are so convinced that God has given them a message to write down on paper, but when they send it off to an agent it is summarily rejected. But there are other authors who are much more humble and though they never imagined their writing was much better than their peers, God has used it to touch many lives. If God had told them how many people would read their writing, perhaps they would have grown lazy in their writing. I don’t know why God hasn’t seen fit to answer my prayer. I don’t know if he ever will, but I think what he wants from me is to trust him to work it out for the best.


Whitehawk said...

I have been struggling through the same issues Timothy.

Earth shaking (my world) events have bowled through my life without warning or my permission. I spent a good deal of time in shock afterward. I have noticed that God allowed me time to recover and get reoriented. My life changed courses as a result and not necessarily in a direction I would have chosen.

I can tell you that as a result I am not the same person.

Joseph has always been my favorite OT hero. With each event like you describe, he becomes more dear to me. He went through many violent life changes of direction that he had no say in yet God continued to move him closer to realizing the dream He had put in Joseph's heart.

My prayer is that I will not be embarrassed spiritually because I did not trust God's intentions for me.

On God's side I claim the verse:

Jer 29:11-12 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

On my side I try to surrender to the verse:

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.

I will pray for you as often as I think of you.

Timothy Fish said...


Your prayers are much appreciated.

Millie Samuelson said...

I'm someone who does NOT believe that all "no's" and "loss" come from God. But I DO helieve God can "overule" (a good old-fashioned term) anything that happens and work all things out for God's glory depending on our responses. . . but that doesn't mean we won't suffer. . . That's the message or theme or storyline of my novel, Hungry River, inspired by my grandparents' lives in China around 1900. :-)