It’s easy to “have faith” when everything is going well. It’s harder when things aren’t going so well. And it’s even harder when you have been seeking God, faithfully following Him, and He doesn’t seem to be “coming through.”
But that is where true faith is developed, and that is the level of faith we must practice if we are to be steady and influential in our work. Your colleagues, employees, and investors are looking for stability. Your unwavering faith in God can give them that.
When we enter uncertain times, times of intense struggle—even times when we don’t know if we will make it—we have to have rock-solid confidence in God’s character and promises so that we can make decisions and take action in faith.
The story of when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead can be an anchor for how we understand how God works in our lives.
Here’s the beginning of the story (John 11:1-6):
Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
Spoiler: what Jesus knows (and Mary and Martha do not) is that Lazarus will die and then He will raise him to life again.
A few questions emerge from the opening of this story:
- Q: How does Jesus feel about Lazarus? (A: He loves him)
- Q: Is Jesus going to take care of Lazarus’ issue? (A: yes)
- Q: What is the ultimate purpose of Lazarus’ issue? (A: to glorify God and God’s son)
- Q: Will Mary and Martha (and Lazarus!) understand Jesus’ timing? (A: no)
- Q: (*This is key) Does what they understand change any of the answers for #1-3? (A: no)
When we confuse His ultimate purpose and get caught up in the method and timing, we will doubt God’s love and ability to execute His will. So how do we maintain this level of faith when the circumstances become difficult? Shift to considering God’s purpose, method and timing instead of your own.
- Purpose: It’s for God’s glory, that God’s son might be glorified. Any success or ease only happens in support of that.
- Method and Timing: It might happen on our terms and align with our expectations, but there is a strong likelihood it will not.
Remember: Jesus loves you, He will take care of your issue, He will do it in a way that most brings God glory, and your level of understanding of his method or timing has no bearing on His love for you or ability to exercise God’s will.
The pull of the world around us will be to make decisions solely based on what we can see, but we are guided over and over in scripture to focus on “what is unseen.” Faith is not checking your brain or rationality at the door; faith is being confident in what God has said He will do and making decisions based on that. It is an even deeper and more profound reality based in the fact that God is in control. This will create a confidence and steadiness in uncertain situations that is attractive and influential to the world around you.
Make your work matter!