Speaking of what faith is, some people think that forsaking our homes and careers, working hard for the Lord, spreading the gospel everywhere we can and establishing churches are manifestations of true faith in God. But do these things mean that we have true faith in God? If so, when we experience disasters or fleshly illness, or something goes wrong with our families, how come we become weak and negative, and misunderstand and blame God, and some even become discouraged and disappointed in God and leave Him? This shows that enthusiastically working and expending, suffering, and paying a price for God doesn’t mean we have true faith in God. So then, what is faith after all?
Let’s see what God’s words say about what faith is: “What does this word, ‘faith,’ refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work does not align with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of. People are in need of faith during times of hardship and refinement, and faith is something that is followed by refinement; refinement and faith cannot be separated. No matter how God works, and no matter your environment, you are able to pursue life and seek the truth, and seek knowledge of God’s work, and have an understanding of His actions, and you are able to act according to the truth. Doing so is what it is to have true faith, and doing so shows that you have not lost faith in God. You can only have true faith in God if you are able to persist in pursuing the truth through refinement, if you are able to truly love God and do not develop doubts about Him, if no matter what He does you still practice the truth to satisfy Him, and if you are able to seek in the depths for His will and be considerate of His will.”
“When you face suffering, you must be able to lay aside concern for the flesh and to not make complaints against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or dissipate. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design and be prepared to curse your own flesh rather than make complaints against Him. When you are faced with trials, you must satisfy God, though you may weep bitterly or feel reluctant to part with some beloved object. Only this is true love and faith.”
As can be seen from God’s words, true faith doesn’t refer to being able to enthusiastically work and expend for God when we enjoy God’s grace. Rather, it refers to being able to not complain to God, but to stand in the position of a created being, seek the truth with an obedient heart, achieve understanding of God’s will, forsake the flesh, stay loyal to God, and gladly abandon our personal interests to practice the truth and satisfy God when we encounter situations at odds with our own notions—no matter whether they are hardships, refinements, disasters, setbacks or failures, and regardless of how great our fleshly suffering is. This is what true faith means.
Take Job for example. He was faced with Satan’s temptations and attacks, losing his family’s enormous wealth and all his children and being covered in boils. When Job experienced these extraordinary sufferings, his friends and his wife didn’t understand him and instead judged and attacked him, but Job didn’t utter one word of complaint. He had true faith in God and believed that all these things befalling him were permitted by God, so he bowed down before God and prayed to seek God’s will. By seeking, he understood that everything he had was bestowed by God, that it was natural and right for God to take these things away, and that as a created being, he should obey God unconditionally. So in his extreme pain, Job was able to say: “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). From this, we see that when encountering hardships and refinements, Job didn’t lose faith in God or speak sinfully, but could seek God’s will and preferred to suffer in the flesh to maintain his faith in, devotion to and obedience to God. Thus, he humiliated Satan and bore resounding and beautiful witness for God. This is what true faith means.
Abraham is another example: When God asked him to offer up his only son to God, though this didn’t accord with his notions and he felt pained, he was still able to hold onto his faith in God and chose to submit unconditionally to God, willing to bear the pain and return his beloved only son to God. Because he knew that Isaac had been bestowed by God in the first place, and that he, as a created being, should obey the Creator when God wanted to take Isaac away. This is the real manifestation of true faith in God.
From all this, we can see that only expressions like Job’s and Abraham’s show a genuine faith. No matter what the circumstances, no matter how much they don’t fit with our desires, and no matter how great our fleshly suffering, we shouldn’t misunderstand, blame or argue with God, but should completely obey God and stand testimony for God. This is what true faith is.
Now that we understand what true faith is, how can we develop true faith in God? This requires us to focus on experiencing God’s work within all the environments God arranges for us. Under any circumstances, we must have an understanding of God’s authority and sovereignty, take our proper place as created beings, and seek God’s will with an obedient heart. No matter how great suffering and refinements we undergo, we mustn’t blame or betray God, but should unwaveringly stand on God’s side and unconditionally obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements. Only in this way will we develop true faith in God and stand witness for God.
For example, when we encounter hardships or illnesses and become weak and negative, we must first know God has allowed these things to happen to us, can’t misunderstand or blame God and must seek God’s will from the proper position of created beings. When we quiet ourselves before God to seek like this, we will realize that we believe in and expend for God and are bursting with faith in God when everything is smooth and peaceful for us, but in times of disaster, we blame God for not protecting us, lose our faith in Him, are no longer motivated to expend for Him, and even shun and betray Him. This shows that our expending for God is contaminated with our intentions and that it isn’t out of love for God or to satisfy God but to gain blessings and grace—we are making deals with God in the name of expending for Him. The Lord Jesus has told us: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38). When we believe in God and expend for Him, we should love God with all our hearts and minds. No matter how much work we do, or how much we suffer, there must be no personal ambition or impurity, and we must be devoted purely to obeying and satisfying God, without demand for recompense. In the face of trials and tribulations, we shouldn’t complain against or betray God, but should obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements and bear beautiful and resounding testimony for God. Only then will we be people who love God with all our hearts, souls and minds. Once we’ve understood God’s will and requirements and known our own shortcomings, we’ll become willing to forsake the flesh, to worship and obey God unconditionally, and to stand witness to satisfy God. This way, we’ll develop true faith in God and stand testimony to satisfy God.
Editor’s Note: After reading this article, do you know what faith is? Have you found the way to develop true faith? If you’ve found this article to be helpful for you, please share it with others. If you have any further questions or confusion, please feel free to contact us through Live Chat or Messenger. We’re available anytime to answer any questions you might have.
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