Originally written May 16, 2010

It’s one thing to say you trust in the Lord; it’s another to show it.
It’s one thing to say you trust in His will; it’s another to demonstrate it.
It’s one thing to say “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven”; it’s another to live it.

Are you a Christian…a follower of Jesus Christ? Show me, don’t tell me. Believing requires action. Anyone can say they believe, but saying so requires no more action than merely uttering the words. To believe requires action on our part. Faith is easy when the going is easy, isn’t it? But, the true measure of one’s faith is when the going is hard. What is the evidence of your faith? It’s easy for me to say “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Prov 3:5). It’s another to apply those words into quantifiable action.

A family member I have a lot of respect and admiration for said to me just last week, “Christians do more to turn people away from God than any other population.” Why is that, you ask? I think there are two reasons for that:

  1. People who call themselves Christians can often be overbearing, condescending, and judgmental of non-Christians. This is the opposite of who Jesus Christ was…and is. He was (is) loving and accepting of EVERYONE, regardless of how they choose to live their lives. “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”
  2. Christians have become lackadaisical…not standing up for our principles…not standing up for Jesus. When non-Christians look at us and don’t see any difference in us and themselves (in how we act and talk and what we do), there is no draw or attraction to Christianity. If we stand up for nothing, we’ll fall for anything.

I’ve been guilty of both of these behaviors at one point or another in my walk with God, and I pray you learn from me and avoid them both. In truth, you will most likely fall victim to one or both of these yourself at some point, so in that situation I pray you’re strengthened from the experience…as I was. When I pray for strength in my faith, I pray I am not one of “those” Christians, because “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 5:19) I digress…

My brother’s faith has recently been tested in the past months through some very serious health concerns, and I pray his faith is strengthened through his trials. I pray the faith of our family is strengthened through his struggles, and through the evidence of his faith. By the time you read this, it’s quite possible you may remember this time in our families’ lives, but I pray you’ve been strengthened through it nonetheless. I see the evidence of his faith, and I pray those who see him and know him and hear his story are either convicted by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior or are strengthened in their personal walk with Him.

God never promised his children a struggle-free life…in fact he tells us we will be tested in our faith. We think we’re entitled to a life free of hardship and trials and struggles?? We think we’re entitled to reap the joys of family forever?? All of our relationships on Earth are on loan from God!! We all have a date with death, and only God knows our appointed time. Who are we to question the God who breathed the very life into us? The God who gives is also the God who takes away.  Struggles and hardships come into our lives as the result of one of four things:

1. Satan is tempting us because he sees a weakness in our character and wants to pull us away from God;
2. God is testing us to strengthen what He sees as a weakness in our character that needs developing…to pull us closer to Him;
3 God is disciplining us for our actions (or lack of action);
4. God is disciplining someone else, and we’re caught up as “collateral damage”

How we react to our struggles is often an indicator of which one of these applies to us. When you encounter struggle and begin to question God, remember the four things above and question yourself instead. If faith were easy when times are tough, it would be called something else…

I pray you see the evidence of my faith.

Love,

Dad

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