If there is one thing I (Tracy) have learned about my faith it’s this: God’s faithfulness helped grow it. He took me from a place of despair and called me to believe—to believe in Him. He asked me to trust Him, a difficult task in the beginning. Others had broken my trust. Would God too?
Much later I would learn and agree with George Mueller’s words: “I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.”¹
Difficult circumstances led me to seek the Lord. My life added up to one miserable equation. Home sweet home demolished by a bomb that set off a chain reaction. I didn’t think I could withstand it. I wanted to throw in the towel and proclaim, “Game over”!
But God threw me a lifeline instead.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
One of my first big acts of faith was this: to believe there was something to hope for in my future. Circumstances said give up. God wanted me to keep going. Would I believe God and His Word when hope felt beyond my reach?
Hope feels brave when there’s no basis to believe it.
It is much more difficult to walk in faith those first early steps. I didn’t yet have years of God’s faithfulness to reflect upon.
Those first steps toward my hopeful future felt like they were taking me to the edge of a cliff. No parachute to help me glide to safety. What if faith stretched me so far out of my comfort zone I landed somewhere I didn’t want to be? Then what?
The “X” which marked the safe drop zone seemed far off. I couldn’t see it.
Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The providence of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail.¹
My life is much different because of faith. Somehow, seemingly impossible, here I sit enthroned with a crown of righteousness. The mere belief of righteousness in the face of my own sin an act of faith as well.
But that’s where faith gains traction. When we know we have right standing with God … that’s a game changer!
Right standing with God gives liberty to live our lives as God intended. We’re able to toss off all that hinders and stand with our head held high where once our eyes averted. If our eyes aren’t focused on what God sees, we’re focusing on the wrong image.
God shows me what He sees in me in a tender, merciful fashion. Faith has taught me that.
I have courage where I once held cowardice.
Because God is who He says He is, I can be brave enough to look my sin square in the face and deal with it. Before faith was forged in me, I’d never done that. Now I know if He asks me to peer into my sinful nature, it’s for my own good, and faith says, “Trust God. He is gentle in His reprimand when we are genuine in our repentance.”
I couldn’t change what I was unwilling to look at. Once I did (and do), I received deliverance. Sin no longer hidden brings freedom from what hinders.
Faith has given me courage to dream again. I have a beautiful life. It’s not without its difficulties, but God has shown me faith floods our lives with blessings too. He carries me from one adventure to another, and it’s so much fun. Contrary to what some in the world might think, faith is not boring. It is adrenalin filled when we are full of possibilities in Christ.
There are times in my life when I wonder What on earth am I doing and how did I get here? Walking by faith can lead us to some amazing places. It requires obedience to get to that spot God marks out for us. “X. Right here, My daughter.” Obedience isn’t always easy (even if it should be), but it gets easier the longer we walk in faith.
Beyond all those benefits of faith (and I know there are many I haven’t mentioned) God has shown me He was so very faithful to His promise from Jeremiah 29:11. He has given me a future far beyond anything I could have imagined.
Faith has helped me take bold action based on God’s wisdom. His power encourages me to do more with what He’s given. Not striving. In His strength, I carry out my calling.
Gone is the cowardly woman who often roared because of pain in her depths. In her place sits a lioness rising into her calling more each day. Today, I find myself stepping into a mission to penetrate the darkness.
Faith has brought me to a place where I will be fighting for God’s daughters against the oppression of human trafficking. I would never have thought I would be sent on that mission. But then again, that’s what faith can do.
Join the conversation. How has God asked you to step out in faith? How is God asking you to respond to His call to faith today? How will your life be different when you do?
¹Mueller, George, and A. Sims. George Mueller: Man of Faith. Eugene: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2005.