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by Cate Russell-Cole
11/02/2015 / Christian Living
It's too easy to have a simplistic view on the answers to life's problems. In the words of M. Scott Peck, "life is difficult," and it is certainly, complex.
Faith is a paradox. We're told in the Scriptures to have a child-like faith, and so we should. But there are many times when a child-like faith seems to be too hard, and at times, inappropriate. In certain areas of our lives, it is almost an effortless task to believe in a loving, providing Father, who can pull answers out of a "hat" as effortlessly as a magician produces a rabbit. However, when it comes to the deeper, more traumatic issues of life, faith and God's replies to our problems can become extremely complicated.
Perhaps the problem is our point of view. We don't see things God's way, or from His 'height.' He knows the future, His plan, what's happening in the heavenlies on our behalf, and He has a crystal clear view on what's wrong and right. It's easier to get where you're going when you can see a clear road map. When the way ahead is shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, faith becomes arduous, and can leave you feeling like a lost child.
I'm sure God has a response to every prayer which He makes the moment it is uttered - but ninety-nine percent of the time, we don't hear what He says. We don't have all the answers, and as we seen in Job, we're not supposed to. Often, we probably wouldn't be able to comprehend the sophisticated concepts of the 'great scheme of things.' Also, if we knew the plan, we most probably wouldn't learn the lesson, gain the courage, or obtain the reward at the other end.
Faith comes in levels of achievement, which we build on over time. It is a different scenario between trusting God to provide the money to pay for your bills, than it is to trust Him to rescue you from terminal cancer. There are many testimonies to God's provision in both cases, and for some people, it may be easier to believe in healing from cancer than provision for the phone bill. When our backs are against the wall, simplistic faith, and a simplistic view on how God deals with our pain, can be irritating and far from helpful. At times like these, we need to find our own feet with our faith. You can't live your Christian walk through someone's else's faith or revelations, though they can help as testimonies. In crisis, we function on the basis of our own experience with God, our own understanding of His love and caring. We need to individually hear God's voice in our hearts, giving us His direction for that specific situation. We need to walk with our hand in His, not someone else's.
When God's promises are freely flowing, but the stress is building and the answer seems a long time in coming, what do you do? Here's the simplistic answer: sit it out, be honest with God in your prayers, keep praying, hoping and wait. Trust me, I know it's the hardest thing in the world to do.
This article by Cate Russell-Cole is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Written in Australian English.
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