This past Saturday, I sat on my bed angry at God. He didn’t seem to be acting on behalf of a much loved person in a dire situation. Through my tears, I cried out, “God, we believe You are on Your throne. Why doesn’t it seem that You are doing anything from it?” I was reminded later in the day that just because I couldn’t see God’s goodness from my viewpoint doesn’t mean that He wasn’t pouring it out on her and moving in her midst. There had to come a point in that moment where I rested my faith in God’s character as opposed to what I could see.
There are times in our lives where we will question God. We will struggle to reconcile how we believe things should be versus what God is doing. Sometimes, it seems as though He isn’t doing anything at all. I think that everyone asks these questions and even should at times. These are the opportunities where we take our thoughts captive under the knowledge of Christ. This is where we view our faith as the evidence of things not seen. This is where we are made ready to explain the hope that we have. We grow more into the disciples God has called us to be, and the word of our testimony packs the biggest punch.
It isn’t a naive, blind escape into fantasy land. Our losses and disappointments are greatly felt, and there is a time of mourning. But there is also a time to experience joy and peace in the midst of it, even though the world and our circumstances cannot offer an explanation. This, my brothers and sisters, leads to conviction. Most of the time, we attribute conviction to our sins. The conviction I am talking about, however, is the conviction that God is who He says He is, and that His promises are true even when we cannot see it at the present moment. And, right now, the world needs a church that speaks and acts from that place of conviction.
Conviction of God’s goodness, might, and power doesn’t always come in a way of answered prayers. Sometimes, it comes in the face of disappointment and loss. We may not see it at the time, but there comes a point in which we look back and see the handprint of God all over the circumstance. This leads to a firmer stand on His promises, which introduces not just a stronger faith, but also a staunch conviction of WHO God is and ultimately driving a fearless church.
I am currently reading the biography of a woman by the name of Amy Carmichael. She was a missionary from India during the early 1900s who started an orphanage. One particular season in her life, she experienced an unusual amount of death. Several of her “children” died from disease as well as her dearest colleagues and spiritual mentors. As strong of a woman of faith as she was, she still questioned what God was doing. During this time she wrote: “The honest heart cannot be content with platitudes. ‘An enemy hath done this’ is a word that reaches far and touches more than the tares. If an enemy has done it, how can it be called the will of God? We do not know the answer to that question now. But we have sidelights upon it, such as the vision in Revelation. They overcame by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony (victory through apparent defeat)….And as we rest our hearts upon what we know (the certainty of the ultimate triumph of good) leaving what we do not know to the Love that has led us all our life long, the peace of God enters into us and abides.”
As we “rest our hearts upon what we know,” may we, too, rest on the conviction that God is on His throne. He is good, and He is faithful. He is working mightily in both the seen and unseen.