You know when you are going through rough times; there could be many reasons for it. There could be vividly and invisible reasons for it. One of them it could be that the rough times are just pathways preparing you for your future, therefore, God may use those rough circumstances to strengthen you and your faith as a way to preparing you for your next level. Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything with the help of Christ Who gives me strength I need.” Another translation says “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One Who makes me who I am.” So not all rough times I meant to destroy you. Sometimes God may use those adversaries and hardship for us to learn how to trust and rely on God always. There is this song that says “Through it all, I have learned to trust in Jesus, I have learned to trust in God. Through it all, I have learned to depend upon His Word.” During rough times God can use that season to draw you very near to Him, to reveal Himself and truth to you, and change your life for the better. In turn, build you a godly character and strengthen your faith. So God can take our challenges and use them to strengthen us, but we have to take action towards our faith to get the victory.
Another reason it could be the issue of pruning. In order to grow and continue to bear more fruit, God will prune you. He will use the rough times to clean everything about you and make you bear fruit that are pleasing to Him. And when God prunes you, He basically cuts everything unwanted from you. If you were stuck in wrong systems, somehow they will be shut down. If you have been asking God to clean your reputation, to solve your problems, help you to fill in the gaps, sometimes God will come and cut what needs to be cut off. Sometimes God will cut you from bad influence individuals. Sometimes God will even cut you off even from loving friends and relatives for a short period of time; not because something is wrong with them, or they are not good people, but perhaps He separates you so that He can grow you, so that you can have more time to discover yourself, purpose, and the next phase of your life. In order for you to move up to another level of where He wants to take you, He will withdraw you slowly. You will even see the signs. For instance, you used to party together every weekend with your friends, and slowly you keep making excuses, you don’t want to part anymore, you rather go to a Bible study class, and you start enjoying the company of the people in your Bible study more than hanging out with your friends. You will start seeing the signs; you just don’t click anymore with your old friends like you used to be. Maybe it’s the issue of character building, then God will draw you closer to the godly influencing people to model it to you. There are times we will come across people who were put across our pathways for a season. When the season is over, it’s not like you are not friends, it’s just the purpose that drew you together is no longer valid to both of you, and you both decide to move on with what next in your lives. But there are people who will be permanent in your life, such as your children, parents, siblings, and all other relatives. Whether you are close or not, you can’t change the blood relationship or the connection you have. There are some seasons you will be apart from each other, but it will only be temporary because these are the permanent people in your lives.
In this life we have before us, having faith is very important. There are some things and rewards that unless you put your faith to work in the field, good breaks and opportunities may pass you by. The Bible in the book of Hebrews chapter 11 verse 6 it says “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” In other words, expect to receive and God will deliver. Our God is the God of faith. He calls those things which do not exist as though they did. The Bible says, God speaks and creates something out of nothing. In the book of Genesis chapter one, it says in the beginning of creation the earth was empty, without form, and covered with darkness, and God spoke things into existence. So if our God is the God of faith, He is more pleased when we have faith in Him, His promises, and faith in general concerning our well-being and life.
In fact, the Bible records that it is better to believe before you see it. In the book of John chapter 20 verses 24 to 29, it says “One of the disciples, Thomas, “The Twin,” was not there at the time with the others. When they kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord,” he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in His hands—and put my fingers into them—and place my hand into His side.” Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them and greeting them. Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger into My hands. Put your hand into My side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “My Lord and my God!” Thomas said. Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen Me. But blessed are those who haven’t seen Me and believe anyway.”
Pastor Creflo Dollar has been quoted saying, “Your faith is a positive attitude toward something that it has already been finished.” Even though you haven’t seen manifesting it, you need to believe that is done. Even if what you believe may taking longer than you hoped for. If God promised it, then it’s done.
The Bible says we need to put our faith until it gives us the results we want. We need to keep faith at work until it accomplishes what it needs to accomplish. Father Abraham is a good example of this. God promised him a promised child and a promised land. It took years just for Abraham to have Isaac. God promised him and He believed God and waited in faith for years. After waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised (Hebrews 6:15). So the same with us, we need to keep our faith at work in the field and act towards our faith until it gets the job done.
We all have faith, but sometimes some of us we tend to give up too quickly, because we have weak faith. And basically, a weak faith is the faith that is not being used. Each time you have to remain in faith, your endurance of faith do not last long enough to get the job done and accomplish what you were supposed to accomplish. On the other hand, a strong faith is the faith that is being used until it gets the job done. So when people say you have a strong faith, it means your endurance of faith last long. You patiently endure for a long period of time.
A strong faith is the faith that the Lord wants us to have. The faith that remains regardless of the time it takes; you are basically in for a long haul. The Lord Jesus shared a story of a Persistent Widow, in the book of Luke chapter 18 verses 1 to 8, and it records that “One day Jesus told His disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must keep praying until the answer comes. “There was a city judge,” He said, “a very godless man who had great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him frequently to appeal for justice against a man who had harmed her. The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she got on his nerves. “‘I fear neither God nor man,’ he said to himself, ‘but this woman bothers me. I’m going to see that she gets justice, for she is wearing me out with her constant coming!’” Then the Lord said, “If even an evil judge can be worn down like that, don’t you think that God will surely give justice to His people who plead with Him day and night? Yes! He will answer them quickly! But the question is: When I, the Messiah, return, how many will I find who have faith and are praying?”
So you see, even the Lord asked how many will He find who have faith and are praying when He returns. And the good thing about having strong faith is that instead of focusing on the thing, you focus more on your fellowship with God. Your trust becomes on the Lord because you are in it for the relationship and for the long haul. When what you were believing comes, when God’s promise manifests in your life, when your faith accomplishes the thing you were hoping to accomplish, you continually remain in the Lord and trusting Him with your life and everything concerning you because your faith has moved from just getting the things to having a relationship and fellowship with the Lord. You don’t just seek God for things only, but you are looking to fellowship with Him to the point even if God won’t answer some of your prayers instantly it doesn’t bother you much like when you were weak in faith because you are more interested in knowing God and do what pleases Him, and not just getting things from Him.
In the book of Hebrews chapter 10 verses 35 and 36 it also says that “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the Will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” You have to keep maintaining a positive mindset and keep taking action toward your faith or what you believe and hope for. Soon or later you will start seeing and living what you have been hoping and believing for, all this time. Always, a positive faith is better than a negative faith. People with positive faith believe everything is going to work out well for their good. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So our expectation will not be cut off. When we expect to receive, God will deliver.
Helen Majaga is a founder of Helen Majaga International, Live to Your Full Potential Podcast & YouCount Magazine, specializing in the training and development of individuals and businesses to achieve personal and professional goals.
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