To have the kind of faith that pleases God, we often must be taken through frustrating, irritating, fist-clenching experiences. Maybe you’ve been at the point where you cried, “Lord, You gave me a promise, but now You have taken away everything that could make that promise possible!”
Why does God do this? Why does He remove all natural means through which His promise could be fulfilled? Often, it is so our relationship with Him will be pleasurable rather than dutiful. You see, if His promises could be fulfilled through our abilities, we would be in performance mode 24/7. That is not His way. Instead, He asks us into an ongoing relationship, one that requires the trust of our whole hearts.
That’s how the great cloud of witnesses before us made it into His Hall of Faith. Scripture says that when God promised to make Abraham the father of all nations, Abraham “figured his body was as good as dead” (Romans 4:19, NLT). That word “figured” is a mathematical term. Abraham realized that nothing in his life “added up” to see this promise fulfilled. Nothing in his power could make it work. And yet we read, “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger” (4:20).
Here is a picture of Jesus initiating and perfecting a godly man’s faith. The more Abraham figured, “I can’t do this,” the stronger His faith in God’s ability grew. And through the death of his flesh came a power that was not of himself—it was the power of the Holy Spirit.
I wanted to see my prodigal son return to the Lord and in order to see that accomplished, I put my faith in God’s power to draw him with overwhelming love. I am happy to report that my son has been gloriously reconciled to God and to his family.
I want to see thousands of lost people in our city come to Jesus. Yet I know that will never happen by strategizing, planning or putting programs into place. Those things may be useful, but only Jesus can initiate anything for His kingdom. Only He can perfect in us the trusting faith required to see multitudes of souls brought into eternal life.Yes, we are called to do the things we can do for Christ’s kingdom. But we are also called to more. Do you want to see God’s purposes accomplished in your community, His promises fulfilled in your life? He asks only that you trust Him by living a life of faith.