Faith is a command. It is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Without faith it is impossible to please God. Scripture adds, “If any man draw back, I will have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10:38).
I shudder when I think of the terror and dangers of unbelief. Unbelief is a bottomless pit of fear, anguish and discouragement. The consequences of unbelief are horrendous. It begins with fearing what we cannot see. One fear today leads to two fears tomorrow, then three, and then fears become a bottomless pit of uncontrollable anguish and despair.
More and more I see that fear and unbelief end up as hopelessness. It leads into a wilderness of confusion and emptiness. It is not an option—it is not a small issue with God. It is a matter of life and death. It will lead to fearing everything, present and future. Fear is torment.
All God’s children are enduring afflictions and troubles of various kinds. It is heartrending to hear the painful things the righteous are now suffering. My family is also being severely tried and tested.
Some who face overwhelming and frightful sufferings, both physical and spiritual, are losing heart. If you are going through the refining fires, I have a word for you.
FAITH IS ALSO AN INVITATION TO PARTAKE OF THE GREAT GOODNESS OF THE LORD.
I refer you to one of the most encouraging promises in all of God’s Word. Let this promise sink deep into your soul:
“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31:19-20).
Here is great encouragement to hold steadfast in your faith. Here is a bold, glorious promise. God says, “You trust me before men and I will open my storehouse of great goodness and pour it on you. I will hide you in the secret of my presence; I will not allow strife to overwhelm you.”
Some may say, “We ought not trust God to obtain goodness from him.” Not so! It is also written, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, for it has a great recompence of reward” (Hebrews 10:35). It is also written, “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). We must believe that he is a rewarder. Those rewards of faith are spiritual goodnesses, such as rewards of strength—peace and calm in the storm.
Oh beloved, God rejoices in our faith. He awaits to give us hope and open our eyes to his loving care. The decision is ours to make—even this moment. It is within our power to choose to trust God in our present and future trials. It is either the wilderness of despair or the smile of the Lord and an open heaven.
God help us all to hold fast our faith. Do not give up. We are too close to the end of the race.
“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:7-8).