“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls." I Peter 1:6-9 NKJV
The devil is after your faith. There is a race to run and WIN, and the enemy would like nothing more than to hinder you or stop you from running altogether. (Check out the last CFM blog by Chandler for more on running your race!) The Apostle Paul wrote with relief in one of his final letters, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) He was rejoicing about hanging onto his faith, because he had experienced many opportunities to relinquish that faith and decide NOT to believe God. The struggle was real!
If you're like Paul then you've had your opportunities, too. Questions have come and you've had a decision to make--"am I going to hang onto the promise of God that I can't yet see, or am I going to believe more in what I can see and abandon my fight of faith?" The moment of questioning is not the time to try to develop an inner fortitude strong enough to sustain you in the crunch. That has to be done beforehand...believe it or not, when things are going well. I have observed that often times people run to God when everything is a mess, and they begin to let the Word work because it's their only option. Everything starts getting better, and as soon as things begin to normalize they go back to coasting along and lazily abandon the very principles that brought them out of the pit in the first place! This is a recipe for failure. The enemy of our souls will come around again, and if we're "devourable" (i.e., running low on Word, isolated from the Body of Christ, flesh-ruled) then he WILL capitalize on that weakness and wreak havoc yet again! (1 Peter 5:8)
I would like to encourage you to hang onto your faith in the good times, so that it will be MUCH easier to hold on to it in the not-so-good times. The trying of your faith will come, but if you're built up and established in the truth of God's Word then you will be able to withstand the test and come out victorious on the other side! You'll be able to say, like the Apostle Paul, that you've kept the faith!
Ashley Steinberg, June 22nd, 2017