– Peter Kreeft
If we never have any tests of difficulties, how will be ever able to exercise our faith in God? It’s impossible to have faith when none is needed. What if God met every need you have and solved every problem before it even came up? What faith would be required for that? I would say little or none, so God uses difficulties to test our faith where otherwise there would be no test.
If we have been through a test of faith and seen God come through for us, we learn from experience that we can trust Him. This serves to strengthen our faith in God. It’s even more strengthened when we have to wait for a long period of time. If we had everything we ever needed delivered to our door, there would be no chance for faith to be developed, so as difficult as it is to wait upon the Lord, our faith is strengthened by waiting on God and on His divine timing.
Praying for Faith
When Jesus was about to heal a father’s son from a demon possession, the father said, “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)! Did Jesus rebuke the father for having weak faith? No, He honored that request and did help the man’s unbelief or lack of faith and helped cast out the demon in his son. This trial of having his son possessed by a demon was almost too much to take so he found Jesus and asked for His help. The father said, “I believe” but “help my unbelief,” meaning he had some faith but it was weak. We can pray to God to help us increase our faith too.
Assurance of Faith
Sometimes we are like the father who prayed to Jesus, “help my unbelief,” but if we have no unresolved or unconfessed sin, we can “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb 10:22) so the author of Hebrews tells us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23).
It is so true that “Only in a world where faith is difficult can faith exist,” so we must exercise our faith in times of difficulties, we should wait on God so that our faith is strengthened, we should be praying for more faith if our faith is weak, and we should read the Word of God to see the assurance of faith that we should have.