In this new year, I asked myself recently, “What’s my goal for 2019?” In previous years, my spiritual goal centered on growing in trusting the Lord.
As I contemplated my question, a song from a number of years ago came on the radio: “What Faith Can Do” by Kutless.
I don’t recall all the exact struggles during my life when this song first came out in 2009.
Yet I do remember how I clung to the words in the song, “What Faith Can Do” back then. I felt in danger of losing my faith because of all that had happened, and all that was happening. It seemed so much was out of my control, and on so many days I felt God was doing nothing.
I also remember that over time God intervened—not so much in the circumstances of my life, but in my heart. He healed my broken heart. He kept my hope alive. He gave me love for those who were hurting me and grace to forgive them.
As I once again sang the words to “What Faith Can Do” recently, I thought of the troubles that surrounded me in my life in recent days–some of which are a continuation of my struggles in 2009: loved ones who once walked closely with the Lord continuing to go their own way hurting me and others in the process, other loved ones trying to take advantage of me and treating me badly, loved ones ignoring my words of wisdom, loved ones fighting with and acting hateful toward each other and trying to put me in the middle, lots of blaming and shaming among those I love. Physical, emotional, and spiritual unhealthiness plagued the lives of so many that I cared about. And the list went on.
Yes, God had wondrously answered prayers recently, but so many other issues seemed to get worse the more I prayed.
I listened to the song that day, and I knew my goal for 2019 was to grow in faith.
I thought of the definition of faith in the Bible. I like how the Amplified Bible says it: “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]” (Hebrews 11:1).
I thought of Corrie ten Boom’s definition of faith: “Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him.”
The end result of growing in faith would be that I could trust Him more. Faith and trust are so closely related.
After looking at some sites on the Internet and thinking about this, the conclusion I came to is that faith is about believing the truth such as the truth about God—even when I can’t see evidence of it–and trust is having confidence in Him.
Another verse that came to mind after listening to this powerful song, was about salvation. I remembered that it had the word “faith” in it. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).
I applied this to my ongoing troubling situations: if I wanted to be saved from them robbing me of my hope in God, I needed to realize that it would be by grace that I would be saved, through faith. It wouldn’t be from anything I did. It would be a gift from God.
I looked on to verse 9 which read, “not by works, so that no one can boast.” The salvation which I wanted from the Lord would not be from any works I did, so that I wouldn’t be tempted to boast. I confess that often I did try to “save” the people in my life to obtain my salvation from hopelessness, thinking if I could just do something, things would change for them and then me. What I really needed was grace from God through faith, where I could believe that He would be Savior in these difficult circumstances. I didn’t need to wait for them to be saved in order for His salvation—His saving grace— to flow into my life.
Right now I realize fear is once again getting in the way of my faith. I hate the what ifs that keep coming to mind about my lost and wayward loved ones and about my own ability to cope with how they affect my life.
Yet I know God’s grace can cause the fear to go away.
Another verse that comes to mind is this one: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” Psalm 56:3
There’s the word “trust” again.
Then this verse with Jesus’ question came to me: “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40 NLT). Fear definitely interferes with my faith.
Here are other questions I’m asking:
Will I let go of fear and trust God enough to believe that He is able to save my loved ones and rescue them from their bad choices and help them to turn around and walk with Him? Do I have enough faith to release them to Him instead of trying so hard to save them myself—to believe the truth that He is able? Do I trust that God can and will heal my broken heart and bind up all these wounds? (See Psalm 147:3)
Yes, yes, and yes.
2019, I welcome you. My God is going to do great things in and through me. I’m looking forward to it, and to this being my best year yet.
“What Faith Can Do” by Kutless