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Saturday, 24 September 2016

WE ARE NOT FAITHLESS!



I hate 'hyper faith' teaching! You know the one where you confess what you want and stomp on the Word and demand that God make it so.... and if He doesn't come across as you wish, well.... you are not applying the Word properly and are lacking in faith?... that one...
As one who has been terribly hurt by these teachings in the past, I have come to the opinion that this teaching is not only false but promotes fear and guilt in the Christian undergoing trials or sickness. I can't begin to tell you the added strain it placed on me during times of illness when people blamed me for my poor health and told me that I was faithless... Job's comforters all! and not only in illness, but in personal trial, admonitions to pray harder only served to immerse me in a pit of despair and fear.....
When my first marriage ( to a violent unbeliever ) failed and it was necessary to flee to save my children and myself, I would be bombarded by well-meaning Christians telling me that if I only had more faith, God would intervene and change my spouse's heart. How presumptuous of them to speak as oracles of God in this!
After 25 years of marriage and seeing no changes in his heart or true repentance or even apology for broken bones and rape etc, (and with the constant admonition to have more faith and the guilt this brought me), my body and mind collapsed and I was admitted to hospital for treatment and counselling. At this point I felt abandoned by God and ashamed of my 'lack of faith'.
My pastor visited me and was appalled at the false teaching that others had shared with me and advised me that God was supreme, He granted us all free will and if my spouse's heart was unyielding to God's Spirit, then it was imperative that I take the path of peace that Christ offered in allowing the unbeliever to depart.
The divorce was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and was in no small way compounded by the guilt and fear I still felt as an 'unfaithful' Christian. It has taken me many years to come to the point where I can see that God does reign supreme, and that the profession of 'faith', the commanding or bargaining with God, and the arrogance of standing on His Word whilst demanding OUR way, is not the way of true faith. True faith acknowledges that despite all things, God is sovereign.
I cannot and must not stamp my feet on the Word, wave my puny fist in God's face and demand that He work things out to my satisfaction. This makes God my butler and me the master. May this never be! In trials and sickness, none of us are immune, and sometimes it is in these things that God does His best work in our lives. May we be Christians of compassion and humility, asking in faith and believing in God's promises, yet with willingness to acknowledge that God's ways and answers are His alone to understand.
May we not condemn those undergoing trials or illness as faithless, but help and support them prayerfully as God works out HIS will for their lives.

© Glenys Robyn Hicks

"Even though He slay me, yet will I trust Him! "Job 13:15a

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