Living by faith is all about trusting God. It is easy for most of us to live by faith in God when we could see clearly how God planned out things for us. It is comfortable for us to walk in faith when we see and understand the circumstances. Walking in faith is a joyful journey for us when we feel blessed and we feel great. But this is not always the case. There are times in our faith journey that we feel like God is far away from us. All we see is darkness. We feel like “walking through the valley of the shadow of death”. When we are unable to feel and see God’s presence in our difficult situation, we limp through the path. We drag our feet to press on moving forward. It feels laborious and heavy because we could barely see how help will come our way. It is a basic need for us to be able to see and feel to understand. Take for example the relationship of a husband and wife. When one of the spouses fails to demonstrate intimacy or love in action and affection, the other spouse would naturally feel neglected. This is how important for us to see and feel things around us. Thus, it amazes me to see the strength of the blind, the mute, and deaf. They are limited in their senses, in a way, but they are keener than us in how they perceive, feel, and understand.
God allows us to go through times of spiritual darkness when we could hardly understand where He is or how He works because He wants to train us to be keener of His constant presence, not through feelings or through our sight, but only through faith. In military, soldiers are being trained for night combats. Their battle do not always happen during the day, it could happen even at night. Night combats reduces visibility and increases hearing ability of the soldiers. They should be trained to know how to fight in the darkness and this could not be done if soldiers are only trained during the day. They have to have night training. As Christians, we also need “night training” for “night combats”. Our battles are almost always in the dark. God allows it and God uses these night experiences to train us in faith for battle. When we experience darkness, we have low visibility or zero visibility of what is ahead of us. We need someone to rely on. We could only rely on someone who sees all and knows all — God. This is our training for faith. It tests our trust in God. If we do not trust in the very nature of God’s sovereignty, power, might, and ultimate wisdom, we won’t be able to pass the night training in faith. Trust is best demonstrated when our vision and senses are limited. The night trainings that God allows may blind our sight and feelings but it sharpens our faith in God. When we experience these valleys of shadows of harships and difficulties, we could also say like David did, “we do not fear for God is with us”, but only when we fully trust God because we know who He is!
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over.”– Psalms 23:4-5 (WEB)
God looks with favor on those who fear and trust Him. In those dark periods of our life when we are most likely to feel doubtful, fearful, and confused, we can be assured of the constant presence of God. God tells us through His Word that He is faithful and He is with us all the time regardless if we cannot feel this truth all the time. Not feeling it does not nullify the truth. The truth of God’s constancy and faithfulness remains even when we could not see it or feel it.
Those who fear God experiences God’s look of favor upon them. Who are the people who fear God? What does it mean to fear God? Fearing God is not a negative feeling of threat or danger. It is deep reverence for God out of love for Him. Fear of God leads to life (Proverbs 19:23, 14:27). Fear of God causes us to turn away from evil (Proverbs 3:7, 8:13). The fear of God gives us wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). When we fear God, we obey the Lord out of love for Him and this brings us blessed benefits. God takes pleasure in those who fear Him and trust His name. He looks with favor upon people who fear His name. It is comforting to know that we are never out of God’s sight. Even in the dark times of problems, sorrows, and trials, God keeps a watchful eye on us and blesses us.
“Behold, Yahweh’s eye is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his loving kindness, to deliver their soul from death, to keep them alive in famine.”– Proverbs 13:18-19 (WEB)
Two things God does to those who walk in obedience to Him and who hope in His loving kindness. He keeps a steady eye to those who who fear Him to
- Deliver their soul from death.
- Keep them alive in famine.
Those who fear God are kept from harm both physically and spiritually. God can deliver them from physical death (protection from harm or any danger that threatens life) and He can also deliver their soul from death (salvation from hell or spiritual death) through Jesus Christ. He gives life to them that fear His name. Also, those who fear God are kept alive in famine. Famine is a condition of shortages in food and water supply. It is a condition of extreme lack that causes death of people. We all experience famine in different forms. We have famine in the area of finances, famine in the area of physical health, famine in emotional or mental health, famine in the area of relationships, famine in the area of habits and addictions, and many more. We experience lack that stumps us and stops us from moving steadily forward. But for those who fear God and who hope in Him, they are kept alive and sustained throughout the famine. God is there. God remains present. God keeps His promises. God is faithful and He is constantly watching over those who fear His name. Even in the days of famine, His people are satisfied.
“They shall not be disappointed in the time of evil. In the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”– Psalms 37:19 (WEB)
Is there anything that troubles you? Is there anything that obscures your sight and feelings as you walk in faith? Is there any “famine” in your life right now? Keep on walking in obedience to God. Keep steady on walking by faith and not by sight. He is always with you and He shall sustain you and save you from any threat and need you have.