Hebrews 11:1 says now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Many people have heard many interpretations of that verse. For this post, we’re going to focus on having a faith in Him that will carry us when we go through a period of testing and trials in life. At the very end, I’m going to share a little of my struggle during the course of writing my novel, and I wondered where the Lord was.
If we looked at the three Hebrew boys in Daniel 3; you’ll find them at the point where they’re about to be thrown in the fire. Let’s focus closely where they tell the king that our God is able to deliver us from the fire and from the king. They were determined that God will deliver them from their trouble. You have to admit that the boys had a faith that was on point. And you have to admit that this was a trial that would cost them their lives. Because they responded to the king that they weren’t going to bow down to him, the furnace was seven times hotter. The king’s men bound them up and prepared them for the furnace, now watch this: the king’s men ended up in the fire. As a result, the three boys fell into the fire. Let’s pause for a minute. Where’s God in all of this? When we’re in the middle of a crisis, we tend to ask, Lord, where are you. Hopefully, after reading this, you won’t have to ask where He is (or encourage somebody who needs to know God is with them). The three boys weren’t initially delivered from the king or the fire. It was when they were in the fire that God walked with them. Sometimes God won’t deliver us when we’re going through a test or a trial. He will wait till we’re in it to deliver us. What we have to do is to have God’s Word in our heart and a faith that He is with us at all times. With that said, we must have a faith that He will deliver us in His time.
You might have gone through something in your life, and wondered where the Lord was. There’s a possibility that you went through it and weren’t delivered, not because He doesn’t love you or doesn’t care about you; you were chosen to make a serious impact around you. Think about this, when God walked with the three Hebrew boys, what happened? They were called out, and the king worshipped the true & living God. That’s serious. You are a survivor of something unique that can have a positive impact on someone else’s life and the devil doesn’t like you at all. If he can keep you in further torment, you won’t make an impact around you.
The devil wants you to bow down to him. And that’s typically how he’ll do it. He’ll threaten you to comply so you won’t make an impact. Now, I’m not saying that you have to willingly endure hardships. God will allow it for His purpose (though the devil wants to destroy you).
In Genesis 39, when Joseph was thrown in the pit, you’ll find it stated multiple times that the Lord was with Joseph. Potiphar’s wife lied on him (a trap from the devil). If Joseph gave in, his impact to Egypt would’ve been stifled. But Joseph did the right thing and still faced another hardship due to the lie of Potiphar’s wife. God will still with Him and was given favor in prison. God wants you to know that He’s with you in your darkest hour and that you believe He will deliver you and provide for you; but you have faith that He is will you and you are not forgotten. Have faith in His Word, His will for your life, and He will take care of you.
Now let’s pause for a moment. Think back to when you last said, Lord where are you? What was going on in your life? Was it a financial setback? Was someone trying to harm you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually? Were you let go from your job? Did you lose your child via a miscarriage? And you needed the Lord the day before yesterday. Of course, there are many more scenarios that I didn’t mention where you needed the Lord the day before yesterday. When you were in this scenario, you were praying, fasting, asking someone to intercede for you, or probably running away from God in anger. Does that sound accurate? Even though all of that occurred, God came through at the last minute (in our eyes, of course). What’s the message here, God knows what’s best for us and wants to have a faith in Him that He is with us no matter what we’re dealing with in life (whether good or bad).
As I promised, here’s what I went through. During the time of writing my novel, I faced something that almost took my life and I wondered where God was at a desperate time of need. Late last year, I experienced the breakup of a friendship. To me it was devastating and I really wanted a relationship with her. I felt that my life was over and I seriously contemplated ending my life. I asked God almost every night, where was He and to take these feelings from me. I was literally left alone (with the exception of very few friends who really prayed for me), for people were abandoning me leaving me to deal with this on my own (and some probably didn’t want to pray for me). I struggled with that for about 4 months until the time I submitted my novel to my editor. The novel wasn’t the cause for me feeling that way, it was the relationship going wrong. I felt like everything was my fault (and granted, people inside & outside the church were saying it was my fault and that I need to deal with it). God showed me that He was with me through it all and it showed during the writing of the novel. If you have a copy of my novel, look at the acknowledgments and you’ll find that was very personal to me. If I had given up, like the devil wanted me to, you all wouldn’t have a novel (and believe me, the devil would’ve been ecstatic if had not been released). I thank you all for receiving my novel so graciously, and most importantly, I give God praise for the strength and being with me through writing it. With that, I want to thank my editor and copyeditor for being my friends through it. You two had to hear me my cries the most (apart from the Lord, of course).
In closing, when we ask the Lord, where is He; remember He said in His Word, that He will never leave us no forsake us. It may not seem like He’s there when we want Him to be, but He’s always there. He’ll show up in His time when we’re in a difficult situation. Most cases, it’s to build our faithfulness in Him, and for us to strengthen someone else after we’ve made it through. Now I have to thank God because He has really strengthened me after releasing my novel. Someone else can say that they have been strengthened by Him after gone through something traumatic. Don’t let the devil lie to you saying that He’s forgotten about you. But remember, we have choices to make and we must learn to make Godly choices under pressure. Even if we make unrighteous choices, we repent and He will still be with us. Now the question we really should be asking is not where God is; but asking where we are. Most of the time, we’re hiding like Adam & Eve from the Lord. He wants us to run to Him (whether we sin or not). Let’s stop our hiding and find refuge in a God who loves us, who is with us and wants us to be faithful to Him alone.