The testing of our faith is a daily test. There always seems to be something that the world throws at you to trying to get you to have doubt. These trials can bring out the best or the worst in you... or both. I understand completely that in the moment of your situation or circumstances it’s easy to doubt. But in that, we are doubting God. We are doubting his goodness and his faithfulness to us.
“Sometimes we think we know better than God what our actual needs are.”
I think the best way to see the alignment on our hearts is to see what direction we steer to in times of uncertainty. When we face hardships, are you telling yourself it is a tool of God’s grace and a sign of his love, or are you giving in to doubting his goodness?
It’s easier said than done at times to question when things don’t happen your way or your time. It’s hard to see how our Teacher is grading us on our responses, but He is. Our response is what shapes us and reveals what is going on in our heart. We have to realize that when bad things happen or things happen outside of our own plans, it really is for the best. I also think that God uses that so that we can reflect on our own hearts. He is not to blame for why something doesn’t happen your way. It’s not about us, its about him. And if we are focusing solely on ourselves and our wants, we’re losing track of his wants and desires for us.
In the times of trials or the wilderness, we need to be seeking him. Seeking him to reveal what is on our hearts, minds, and conversations that need to change before we see him intervene. Don’t get me wrong, he will reveal himself, but we have to also be obedient. If you’re constantly hitting a wall, it’s unlikely that you’re listening to him or following where he wants you to go. Take this as a hint of if you’re going where God wants you to go or where you want to go. It’s not always going to be an easy task trying to go where God want you to go, but it will be rewarding.
After all, he has promised himself and what he brings to you is the zeal of his transforming grace. We lose track trying to make ourselves happy and forget that he’s not first working on our happiness, he’s committed to our holiness. Remember that in the crushing and pressing, he is offering us much more than we could ever hope or pray for. So be thankful when he wrecks your plans before they can wreck you.
So, when you’re tempted to think that God is loving you less because your life is hard, he’s actually loving you more. Hardships are the tool of his exposing, forgiving, liberating, and transforming grace. Hard moments aren’t in your life because God doesn’t care or that he is distant, but because he loves you so fully. These become moments of faith and not doubt when you begin to value what God says as truly valuable.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” James 1:12-18
Ask yourself this, do you value what God values?