This is a guest post from Marina Abdel Malak - a FrAnthony.com favorite when it comes to guest posts. In her previous posts, Marina spoke about her battle with ANOREXIA NERVOSA and how God got her through it. Thanks to God, Marina has overcome her illness and therefore has become an inspiration to many people (including me!). And Marina is now more than just an online blogger...she's now also a PUBLISHED AUTHOR! And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
How would you answer that question? That's not an easy one.
What's the purpose of having faith in God? What does it do for my life? Does faith mean that life will be easy and without challenges? Why have faith when my life continues to be difficult and full of obstacles?
When I got sick and spent time in the ICU, I felt my faith shake. I wondered how God could allow someone with faith to nearly die from an eating disorder. I remember asking the nurses and doctors why I wasn't getting any better, but no one had an answer. I remember asking my family and church community why my condition was so hopeless, and they told me that God had a plan. But what plan? I had faith in God all my life, so why wasn't He intervening?!
But God was there the entire time - I just needed to strengthen my faith. Having faith is easy when life goes our way. The challenge is having faith when life gets tough and tribulations bombard us.
Regardless of how hopeless we may be, God has a plan. We may not see why God would allow us to struggle or experience pain, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a reason behind it. As the prophet Jeremiah reminds us in Lamentations 3:37-38:
"Who is he who speaks and it comes to pass when the LORD has not commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that woe and well being proceed?"
But isn't God supposed to help us and give us a happy life? Yes and no. God didn't promise that our lives would be easy, but He did promise that He would always be with us.
God didn't say that faith would have no challenges - but He did say that He would help us overcome them. God didn't say that His children would always live in peaceful times - but He did promise that He would always fill us with His peace, as He said in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Last week was a tough one for me. It seemed that everything happened at once. When it rains, it always seems to pour as well.
It was a busy week, and each time I thought that things couldn't get worse, they did. I felt so frustrated and tired. I felt alone. No one had solutions to my problems. And I didn't either.
"God! Why aren't you intervening?", I thought. "Why does my life always have to be one struggle after another? I have faith in You, so why must I always be faced with burdens? Don't You love me, God?!"
Isn't it funny how quickly we forget God's work in our lives?
God really raised me from the dead in the ICU! He could surely help me with this crazy week. But my challenges made me forget how wonderful God is. My faith was again shaken. I was approaching hopelessness.
Thankfully, I went down to my basement, where my sister and I have created a Bible verse wall with a number of inspirational verses from Scripture. I went downstairs, praying to God to show me a sign that things would get better, that He would help me in my circumstances. I closed my eyes and pointed my finger randomly at a verse. And guess what it was?
'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those that love Him' (1 Corinthians 2:9).
God came through once again. He spoke to me in my moment of need. God knew how hard my week was, and how much I needed to hear that He was still there.
The verse says that we cannot imagine or comprehend the wonderful things God has planned for us. We may not understand why things are going the way they are. We may not understand why we are suffering, or why we feel so alone and helpless. But one thing we do know - God is in control. And the amazing things He has planned for us are beyond our imagination.
We need to trust in Him, and know that He never leaves you. He may allow a tough circumstance, a challenging situation, an illness, or whatever to occur. But does that mean He has left you? No. Does that mean that your faith is futile? No.
Faith isn't believing in God because your life is easy and obstacle-free. Faith is believing in God's plan for your life. It's knowing that no matter how tough this life is now, there is hope for what is to come. Faith is knowing that even though we are weak, God is strong. Faith is realizing that though we may not make sense of our circumstances, God knows exactly what He is doing. Faith is accepting that though we are powerless, God is Almighty.
Faith is assurance that when life becomes stormy, God provides the rainbow.
For discussion: what does faith mean to you?