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07 Sep '12

The real test of the depth of our faith

Posted by T.J. Addington in faith, spiritual formation, suffering, The heart
Here is an interesting question to ponder. What is the real test of the depth of our faith? One could answer the number of years we have walked with Christ. Or, the depth of our theology. Perhaps the ministries we have been involved in. Our work for Jesus.

I don't think it is any of those and I don't think it is dependent on how long we have been Christ followers.

The real test of the depth of our faith is when we face a situation or adversity where all of our own resources have been exhausted and we choose to trust God for the outcome no matter what it is. That is the point at which our true depth is tested and revealed. Not in the good times but in the very tough times.

It is in those times when we must grapple with the question of whether God is sovereign over our lives and if yes, if He is also good, no matter what the outcome. It is in those times when we must choose His hope over our despair and trust over disillusionment or bitterness. I have watched young believers respond with amazing faith and old believers with bitterness toward God. When adversity comes, the true depth of our faith is revealed - without exception.

In an ancient day, when calamity was about to come on the people of Judah, God's man Habakkuk said this:

"Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food, 
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights"
Habakkuk 3:17-19

Habakkuk passed the test. Will we and do we? Life is very complicated and inevitably we come to those junctures and seasons where we have exhausted our own resources. Then life becomes amazingly simple: do we trust Him with the simple Child like faith that Jesus spoke of - and in the end - that is the deepest faith.