Walking the Fine Line of Faith

“None of us knows what might happen, even in the next minute, but still we go forward.  Because we trust.  Because we have faith.” – Paulo Coelho

“Faith is not believing in my own unshakable belief.  Faith is believing an unshakable God when everything in me trembles and quakes.” – Beth Moore

“Faith does not eliminate questions, but faith knows where to take them.” – Elisabeth Elliot

“The father at once cried out, “I do have faith, but not enough. Help me have more!” – Mark 9:24 GNT

Think for a moment about the events or circumstances within your own life that caused your faith to weaken.  What was the tipping point?  What made you fall to the side of hopelessness or caused your heart to harden to a point that made faith seem like an exercise in futility?

Did it surround unanswered prayer or was it an answer that was the opposite of what you asked for?  Was it an event so devastating that it darkened your mind to believing that a loving God even existed?  Could it be that you have more faith and trust in your own human reasoning – seeing no logical evidence that would support the idea of a faithful God who has your best interests at heart?

For me, walking the balance beam of faith has come with many slips and falls – even moments where I had no desire to get back up on the beam and try again.  When I look back at those moments with introspection, I try to imagine what thoughts or actions would have shifted my balance to the other side causing me to stay on the beam – continuing to walk the fine line of faith uprightly.  What would have happened if I simply leaned to the other side more?  Would I have remained walking the fine line of faith?

Let me take a few moments to share some thoughts on the matter – things we often discount during a faith failure.

Our View of God

How we see and understand God is at the heart of faith imbalance.  Too often we label Him with human characteristics and view Him in a light that is anything but divine in nature.

We see Him as aloof and uncaring when our prayers go unanswered or against our wishes.  We think He must be angry or upset with us – punishing our disobedience with circumstances that are unbearable or unwanted.  We think of Him as more vengeful than merciful – more obscure than intricately involved in the details of our life.

This kind of doubt in who He is and what He stands for pushes us off the balance beam walk of faith.  Worse yet, think of those who don’t believe He exists at all.  Life is nothing short of fate-driven – all controlled by luck and chance.  Think of the emptiness and apathy that belief system encourages.

When we focus on who God REALLY is, it’s like leaning in the opposite direction of our fall.  It keeps us balanced and upright – capable of walking the fine line of faith.

When we face any kind of doubt or hopelessness, we need to remind ourselves that God is merciful, gracious and forgiving.  He is just, holy and righteous.  We can never be separated from His love for us – a love that is unconditional and everlasting.  He is timeless – fully present and aware of what has happened and what is yet to come.  He is sovereign and in total control of all that unfolds.  He is never caught off guard, unaware, or indecisive.  His purposes for us never falter or waver.  His plans for us are filled with hope for a wonderful future!

What’s your view of God and how is it impacting your doubt, uncertainty, and the fear associated with all you face?

“Because of the loving devotion of the LORD we are not consumed, for His mercies never fail. they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness! “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” – Lamentations 3: 22-24 BSB

“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.” – Hebrews 10:23 NRSV

Our View of What it Means to Be Faithful

There is a bit of a downward spiral we engage in when we go about defining faith incorrectly.  If we put all the pressure on ourselves to remain faithful, fearing God’s wrath if we falter, our faith failures can seem impossible to resolve.   This view just perpetuates hopelessness and discouragement.

If we believe our faith is entirely self-sustained, if we think God is only pleased with us if we remain unwavering, then it becomes easy to think of it as an unreasonable expectation and humanly impossible to accomplish.  This viewpoint just leads to further and deeper faith failures.

But if you feel pressure to remain faithful in the midst of doubt and despair, knowing you are certain to fall if it rests entirely upon your own ability, lean toward the correct and accurate definition of what it means to be faithful.

Our measure of faith has been given to us – the exact amount that we need to face every circumstance of our life (Romans 12: 3-7).  Christ is indeed the Author and Instigator of it – the Sustainer and Perfector of it (Hebrews 12:2).  It isn’t something we conjure up on our own or something we are held totally responsible and accountable to maintain.  We need God’s help, as the father in the 9th chapter of Mark so eloquently realizes above!

Even Christ reassures us that a small amount of faith, the size of a tiny mustard seed, can do tremendous things in our life (Matthew 17: 20-21).  Scriptures give us so many examples of what can be done if we bring what little we have to God – surrendering it to Him and allowing Him to expand and grow it!

Think of the widow at Zarephath who gave up the last meal she had to Elijah (1 Kings 17: 7-16), what Gideon accomplished with just 300 men (Judges 8: 4-28), and how just two fish and five barley loaves fed 5,000 people (Matthew 14: 13-21).

In the middle of all your uncertainties and doubt, take what little faith you have to God and watch what He will do my friend 😊   This is what it truly means to be faithful!

Our View of Trials and Difficulty

As I mentioned earlier, think for a moment about what lies at the center of a faith failure.  I’m sure as you contemplate it, you won’t find glowing circumstances, abundant joy, or overflowing blessings.  The things that dampen our faith are drenched in difficulty and soaked in doubt and uncertainty.  The trials and hardships of life make us doubt God’s character, his love for us, and his sovereignty over all things.

If the difficult, challenging moments of life cause us to fall off the balance beam of faith, we need to lean the other direction – looking deeper and harder at what lies at the center of difficulty and its presence in our lives.

“My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure.  Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” – James 1: 2-4 GNT

“But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who calls you to share his eternal glory in union with Christ, will himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation.” – 1 Peter 5:10 GNT

The correct view of difficulty and hardship is to see it in the light of what it accomplishes within us – strength, perseverance, endurance, and a deepening foundation of faith.  This my friends is why a loving, sovereign God allows trials to unfold in our lives.  Difficulties are not centered in vengance, punishment, or God’s indifference.  They are not aiding in our detriment, but allowed for our ultimate benefit.  This is why James tells us to “consider yourselves fortunate” when trials come our way.  Some translations of this verse tell us to “consider it PURE joy”  when hardships arise – knowing God is at work producing greater faith and hope within us!

Today, if you are finding yourself walking the fine line of faith, teetering on this balance beam journey of what it means to be a Christian, learn to lean toward truth to keep your balance.

Remind yourself who God REALLY is – loving, merciful, gracious and in total control of all that unfolds.  Concentrate on His character, His holiness, and the promises He gives us surrounding His own faithfulness in the midst of all that tests your faith.

Remind yourself that faithfulness is not defined solely by your own determination or effort.  True faithfulness is taking what little you have, along with all your doubts and uncertainties, and bringing them to Jehovah Jireh – the God who SEES and PROVIDES.

Finally, remind yourself that difficulties never surface in our lives by fate or chance.  They are allowed by a Sovereign God who uses them to develop greater endurance within us – deepening our levels of faith and trust in Him.  Learn to view trials with a joyful heart – knowing God is at work and in control of EACH ONE you face.

Stay balanced, stay faithful, and always remain hopeful my friends!

God bless!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s