Does having a strong faith mean you don’t have doubts and uncertainties about God, or get angry at Him and question what He is doing, or not doing?
I’m thinking about the biblical story in Exodus of how the Israelite were miserably enslaved under Pharaoh. Just imagine when they heard the great news that God was going to rescue them. Most likely they would have expected that God’s promise meant that deliverance would come quickly and easily. They probably would have celebrated, “Yay! We’re gonna pack up and walk outta here! God is so good!” But things went badly right away, and that was just the beginning.
The people blamed Moses for setting Pharaoh against them and making things worse. Moses then blamed God for this bad turn of events: “What’s up? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, things have gotten much worse, and You have not rescued Your people at all!” Oh, and he complained again about his poor speaking skills. Just couldn’t let that one go. I just love Moses’ honest give-and-take relationship with God.
Honestly, I don’t think there’s anyone who hasn’t been confused or disappointed by God’s action or inaction. Sometimes we think that if we struggle with uncertainty and doubt, or question God’s actions, we don’t have enough faith. Like, it’s not okay to yell at God, right? Better keep your mouth shut. But, watching Moses’ relationship with God unfold we get a great picture of authentic Biblical faith. This is faith that trusts in God’s character in the face of uncertainty and hope that comes from knowing who God is and trusting His heart—hope in the middle of pain. This kind of faith doesn’t suppress doubts and emotional outbursts at God, isn’t passive aggressive, or pretend to have all the right answers.
I’m quite sure Moses didn’t anticipate the long, painful, drawn-out ordeal that followed. He lost his temper occasionally, and argued with God multiple times. But he never lost sight of whom he trusted – the I AM, Lord God Almighty. Moses hung in there with God, mistakes and all – and God hung in there with him, eventually doing what He had promised. Moses even made the list of those commended for their faith in Hebrews 11:27. “It was by faith that Moses left the land of Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. He kept right on going because he kept his eyes on the One who is invisible.”
What happens to your faith and trust in God when life gets sticky and the easy answers don’t fit? Is He still faithful and good when He doesn’t seem to be rescuing you from pain and suffering?
“Faith is not about striving for certainty. It’s about striving to remain faithful in the midst of uncertainty.” ~ Greg Boyd, Benefit of the Doubt
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