Does God “force” our faith to grow?
For the purpose of this “conversation,” I’m going to interchange the word “trust” with the word “faith.” After all, Webster does it and it seems to work pretty well in our scripture references. There is a point to my doing this, and it is because to us our trust in God is wrapped up so deeply with the faith we demonstrate in Him. We often think of and use these terms interchangeably without a concern.
So, does God “force” our “trust” to grow? Does God really make me exercise faith in Him? That’s really a pretty good question. There are times for me, at least, when I wish some switch would trip somewhere and get me over a faith slump. How about you? Take stock in this: “There is no Christian alive who always has faith and never has slumps or doubts.” It should come as no surprise that the God who created us continues to have a passionate and even jealous interest in us. He is not like a watchmaker who “winds up” his creation and sets it off to run on it’s own. Quite the contrary. He is committed to us. He is engaged with us.
In the biblical life examples of Abraham, Sarah, Joseph and many others, God is seen moving people or creating life situations where there was the opportunity to releaseunwavering trust in Him. God is no different in His goal today, and His desire and purpose is to see that type of “sold-out” trust in you and me. So He continues to create or permit situations, let’s just say “opportunities,” that require us to find reserves of trust we don’t even know we have. This is not some crazy, ancient idea. It’s part of the“normal” Christian life! Is this a violation of our “free will?” I don’t think so. We still make the decision to choose what to do in these circumstances and exercise our “will” accordingly.
God often provides or allows the catalyst needed to move us beyond the boundaries of our fears and our personal limitations. He invites us into a deeper life in the Spirit where mystery and unknown are no longer so limiting and intimidating and they shrink in value compared to the adventure of experiencing God through greater trust and being rewarded for our brave choices.
In a sense, God “tees” it up for us and invites us to swing, even with our eyes closed. He knows, and we must learn though practice, that trust grows only by extending trust.It’s true with people, though we must be prepared for disappointments, but is more-so true with God, who promises to reward those who venture to seek and trust Him. This pleases Him greatly. Take a moment and read Hebrews 11. Then, Think About It.