By Huafei, China
As Christians, we are familiar with the word “faith,” and everyone has a different understanding of it. Many people think: “No matter where God is, I believe in His existence one hundred percent and never doubt. This is.” Actually, this is only the belief of acknowledging the existence of God but is not true faith. Having true faith refers to having knowledge of God, seeing His love and deeds, and knowing His almightiness and sovereignty over everything, so that when faced with tribulations and trials, we don’t complain against God but can absolutely obey God. Only when we attain true knowledge of God through experiencing His work can we develop true . Now let’s take a look together at the experiences of Job and Abraham and then we will have a better understanding of true faith.
Job’s Faith: He believed what he had all came from God, and whether it be when he was stripped of all his possessions or when he suffered misfortune, he offered no complaints.
As we all know, it is recorded in thethat when Job lost his property and his children and when sore boils sprouted upon his body, he bore glorious witness to God, and spoke the classic words, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21), “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). When the great trials came upon Job, he didn’t argue with people or look for external causes. Rather, he came before God to pray and seek His will, which showed that he had a place for God in his heart. He knew the trials he encountered were permitted by God and not born from the hand of man, even if they were the temptations of Satan. Having faith in God’s sovereignty, he believed that the vagaries of man’s fortune were in God’s hands, and that nothing would befall him without God’s permission. He also believed that all the property he possessed in life was bestowed by God, and did not come from his own labors; so when God wanted to take away all that he possessed, he thought it was natural for God to do that and he didn’t talk of conditions with Him or complain against Him. So during the trials, Job believed in God’s sovereignty, obeyed His arrangements and gave praise to His name, and finally bore a strong and resounding . All of this was not a temporary manifestation but the fruit of his many years’ experience. During his life, he always focused on knowing God’s sovereignty from all of God’s creation and in all matters he encountered. In the end, he got some real knowledge of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, and realized that all things he owned came from God.
Abraham’s Faith: When God asked him to offer Isaac, he obeyed God unconditionally even though he had to endure the pain of parting with whom he loved.
Abraham is most famous as the father of faith. When he was a hundred years old, God promised him a son, and when the boy was about ten years old, God asked that Abraham sacrifice his son. At that moment Abraham struggled in his heart and felt weak, but he didn’t reason with God or complain that since God bestowed a son upon him, why He must take back his only son after he had raised him for over ten years. In his heart he knew that his son was given by God; since God demanded the boy back, he should return his son. So he was willing to bear the pain to offer Isaac to God. And his obedience was not in words but in deeds. He did bind Isaac, lay him on the wood, and raised his knife to slay his son. This was Abraham’s true faith in God, the very faith that was approved by God. When he was absolutely obedient to God, the situation took a turn for the better; Not only did God stop Abraham from slaying his son, but He also blessed him with descendants as numerous as the stars and made him the father of many nations.
So, if we want to have true faith and stand testimony for God in trials, we must focus on knowing His sovereignty and arrangements among all things He created, and the people, matters, events, and circumstances we encounter every day; meanwhile, we should pursue to attain a real knowledge and appreciation of His sovereignty through our practical experiences, and thus we will develop true faith in Him. Only then can we face trials calmly, believe in and obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and stand witness for God. And when we have a deeper knowledge of God, we will not reason with God, but will absolutely obey God and satisfy God under any circumstance. Only when we are possessed of the same faith as Job and Abraham can we get God’s approval and blessing.
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