“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark – that is faith.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Since I was a child I have heard people say, “Faith is believing what you cannot see”, but I like Rev. Spurgeon’s description better. If your life has always been full of light, you may disagree with me. Once you experience true darkness, you may change your mind.
I know that doesn’t sound beautiful, but remember we are here to talk about real life. In real life, it cannot be light all of the time. Just as sure as the sun rises and sets, darkness will come. When it does, what will happen to your faith?
On Easter of 2016, I stood in the breakfast area of my home talking to my mother. I remember smiling ear to ear and declaring, “I am so happy! I am truly happy!” I was finding happiness in just being me. I was living in the light. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. There were no clouds in my sky. I never dreamed that in less than a week I would be walking in utter darkness. I do not mean darkness like the electricity went off, but I can open the windows to the daylight. I mean the thick midnight, moon behind the clouds, can’t see your hand in front of your face, kind of darkness.
The best part of life is LIFE, and the worst part is death. If you have ever experienced the loss of a loved one, you will know what I am talking about. There is nothing better than being around someone you love and seeing them truly happy. That is life! When that is taken away, the world as you know it turns bleak and it is really scary. It’s the kind of midnight that brings out the goblins and monsters like fear, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and the list goes on and on.
After my mother passed away, I started typing my thoughts in the notes app on my phone. Sometimes I took down paragraphs and sometimes it was just a few lines of whatever was on my mind at the moment. I came across one such note recently. It was a declaration of the outcome I wanted at the end of the tunnel of blackness. I wrote, “My faith is mine. Nobody can take that from me. I want my faith to survive.”
For me, faith was the foundation of everything I believed in. It was my trust in God and that somehow, through this, I would still believe in Him. I did not want to lose that. I had already lost so much. The dictionary defines “Survive” as – “Continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.” This is what I needed more than anything – I needed my faith to continue to exist in spite of the darkness that had eclipsed my life.
“Never say never!” That is another popular phrase that people say with the belief that if you say, “Never”, then whatever they are talking about will actually happen. Never say that your faith can’t be shaken. I always considered myself strong in my faith, but when life throws you into the pits of despair, your faith will be shaken. Mine was shaken to the core. How could God love me and still let me hurt so badly? How could He be there for me, yet I was still so lonely. I hurt head to toe, inside and out. How could I trust Him? Yes, I questioned and I had to search for what I believed in because I felt like I lost it.
Some people say to never question God, but if you read your Bible you will see that many great people questioned Him. Jesus, the greatest man to walk Earth, even questioned when He was facing death, “Eli, Eli Lama Sabachthani” – in translation – “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” We sometimes expect more of ourselves than God expects of us. To say that we cannot ask Him, “Why?” is to expect ourselves to be stronger than God. You see, I had to ask the questions because I was in search of my faith. I had to make sure I was still grounded in Him. (There is a fine line between questioning and accusing; we have to be careful not to cross that line.)
It took me a little while to come to terms with my questionings, but in my uncertainty, I began to find answers. Yes, He still cared. No, He had not forsaken me. Yes, it hurt, but that didn’t mean He didn’t still love me.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV– “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for….”
Hebrews 11:1 AMP – “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed)….”
What is divinely guaranteed?
- Jesus LOVES me!
- Because He loves me, He will never put more on me than I can bear.
- He let me experience this, so I must be stronger than I even knew.
- Actually, I don’t have to be strong enough because He will carry me when I cannot carry myself.
Knowing what we hope for, we are assured that through faith it will come to pass. Your faith may be shaken, but that does not mean it has to be destroyed. Yes, the darkness is scary and you may feel like you are losing your faith, but I want to assure you:
Your faith is yours. Nobody can take that away from you. Your faith WILL survive.