Week 6: Our definition of faith
By Yolandé Korkie
Mark 14:36 “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” (NASB)
Suffering really gets tough when our prayers are not answered in the way we believed they would be answered. What happens to our faith when this happens? Does it get shaken when the world says that a God of love will not allow suffering and hardship? Do we lose faith because our definition of answered prayers implies immediate relief from all our hardships? Do we see prayer as a ‘relational transaction’ only – a ‘divine currency’ that we pay in order to receive whatever we ask in prayer?
From the book of Job, we learn that trust, and therefore faith, must be sought in the character of God Himself. Daniel was such a man, whose faith rested in the character of God, and not in what God could do for him. Consider Jesus when He prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane, pleading with His Father to let the cup of suffering pass Him by. Of all people in this world, surely God would concede to His beloved Son’s request. But Jesus ends His prayer: “Not what I want, but what You will.” Why does Jesus end His prayer in this way? Because He had absolute faith in the character and will of His Father.
Faith allows us to admit that while we do not understand everything, we can trust God, and that suffering can have a purpose. If our faith rests entirely on the idea of “heaven here on earth”, then that kind of faith will be demolished when the storms of life hit us. If, however, our faith rests on the character of Him who is the eternal I am, then that kind of faith will endure.
Reflection: Where is Jesus placing His finger in your life today – unanswered prayers, or deep resentment towards Him when things happened differently to what you expected, or prayed for?
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