In our real life, when misfortunes in the family, difficulties in the work, the illnesses of the body, or various dangers and pains befall us, often times we don’t know how to face them and are always anxious and panicky, so that we neither see God’s deeds nor gain God’s guidance. This gives us food for thought: As Christians, how should we keep our faith in God in hard times?
I thought of the story of Moses in the Bible. Moses was originally a prince, but shepherded sheep for forty years in the wilderness without anyone even to talk to. His descent from a prince in the palace to a shepherd in the wilderness and forty years’ experience in the wilderness made him achieve the knowledge of God’s almightiness and sovereignty and also his hot-bloodedness was worn away. When God commissioned him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he could obey God and accept His commission with confidence. Especially when he led the Israelites through the Red Sea, it looked like they were finished because they were caught between the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian army behind them. In that situation, what approach did Moses take? He firmly believed that God would surely lead them through His authority and power, still prayed to and relied on God with confidence, then lifted the rod and stretched it over the sea. Finally he saw God’s deeds—the Red Sea was divided and the Israelites safely passed through it.
There were also the deeds of David recorded in the Bible. When the Philistines fought against Israel, Saul and all of Israeli soldiers were terrified when facing the giant Goliath, could only let him hurl invective at and blaspheme against God but no one dare go forth against him. At that time, David was a shepherd boy but he worshiped Jehovah God and had faith in Him, so facing the ridicule from Goliath, he said, “You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of Jehovah of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day will Jehovah deliver you into my hand; and I will smite you, and take your head from you; and I will give the carcasses of the host of the Philistines this day to the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that Jehovah saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is Jehovah’s, and He will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:45–47). Because David relied on his faith in God to fight, he only used a catapult to defeat Goliath in the end. It was due to his faith in God that he saw God’s deeds and power.
Through the account of Moses and David, we can see that it is very important to experience crises with true faith in God. I read two passages of words in a book: “What does faith refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work is not in line with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of. … No matter how God works or what kind of environment you are in, if you are able to pursue life, seek to have God’s work carried out within you, and pursue the truth, and if you have an understanding of God’s actions and are able to act according to the truth, then this is your genuine faith and this shows that you have not lost hope in God” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement”). “Therefore, only when you have faith and you do not harbor doubts toward God, only when you have true faith in Him no matter what He does will He enlighten and illuminate you in your experiences, and only then will you be able to see His actions. These things are all achieved through faith” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement”).
From these words we can see that, no matter whether or not the circumstance we encounter accords with our notions, or no matter how dangerous it is, as long as we quiet our hearts before God, pray to Him all the time, rely on Him with a sincere heart, and seek the truth, then we will experience God’s marvelous deeds and surely see how God leads us to escape all dangers. I couldn’t help but think of a brother’s experience. He got cancer and in his misery, he prayed to and relied on God, saying that no matter whether he lived or died was ruled by God, and that he was willing to completely submit everything to God. Unexpectedly, his cancer miraculously disappeared. After that experience, he gained a more practical understanding of God’s almightiness and sovereignty, and had greater faith in God. There was also a sister. Her son suddenly got into a car accident and even the doctors said he couldn’t be saved and even if his operation was successful, he might suffer brain death. In her suffering and anxiety, she prayed and leaned on God and believed that heavens, earth, and all things are ruled by God, and that man’s life and death are in God’s hands but not up to doctors. She was willing to rely on God and experience that matter, and entrust his son to God. As a result, after the operation, her son came to in a very short period of time. The doctors all said that was a miracle, and that in so many of those operations, they had never seen anything like that.
The Lord Jesus said, “For truly I say to you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20). So, no matter what environments, setbacks, tribulations, or sufferings we face, we believe that all things are in God’s hands. As long as we pray to and rely on Him, and have real obedience to and hold fast to our faith in Him, we can gain His guidance and see His marvelous deeds.