FaithSunday, May 09, 2021
LIKE a muscle, faith is strengthened through use. The Apostle Paul at Hebrew 11:1 defines it as the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld.
It is quite easy for our faith to dwindle in times like these. This is because we are bombarded with evil from all angles, some so powerful they threaten to overcome us, our family and friends. How strong is your faith? Does it need to be stronger?
Faith like Job's
How serious is your present condition? Do we have reasons to give thanks?
Thousands of years ago lived an Oriental — a man of great wealth who went by the name Job — who was described as a man blameless and upright. Unbeknownst to him, he was at the centre of a critical test to man's integrity to God. Satan charged that Job only maintained his faithfulness to God because of what God could give him or rather what God blessed him with. Relive the account in Job 1:
9 At that Satan answered God: “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God? 10 Have you not put up a protective hedge around him and his house and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock has spread out in the land. 11 But, for a change, stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your very face.”
Did Job relent in his faith?
God allowed the Devil to strike Job. This could not have been easy. Imagine the mental state into which the man plunged upon learning, in quick succession, that he had lost his livestock and his children, all at the hands of the evil one. Then add to that, Job's health was seriously compromised when his body was so covered with malignant boils that he would have a broken earthenware vessel beside him to scratch them. The wife, probably his closest humanly hope, seeing the condition of her dear husband, implored him to curse God and die, instead of undergoing such inhumane suffering.
What would you have done? Job recalled the abundance of good from God and gave an answer that has lived to comfort us to this very day: “You are talking like one of the senseless women. Should we accept only what is good from the true God and not accept also what is bad?” In all of this, Job did not sin with his lips. (Job 2:10)
Light shone at the end of the tunnel for Job. Will you hold on in faith? Job 42:12 tells us: “So God blessed the last part of Job's life more than the beginning, and Job came to have 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 pairs of cattle, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also came to have seven more sons and three more daughters.” Job went on to live for 140 years. True, the first children he had could not be replaced by new ones, but this man had asked in Job 14:14 and 15: “If an able-bodied man dies, can he live again?” Job says: “You will call and I will answer.” The man was confident that his children would answer to God's call and rise in the resurrection on the last day.
Could this be the quality lacking in our lives? Cultivate faith even the size of a mustard seed and then we can say to the mountain or the mountain-like obstacle: “ 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
If you have any questions or would like to discuss how the Bible can further be of comfort in these times, please contact Warrick Lattibeaudiere, a minister of religion, at email@example.com.
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