This was the question asked at our weekly early morning Bible study yesterday.
I don’t think we answered it directly, but some interesting things DID come from the study, which centered around Luke 17 when the disciples asked, “Lord, increase our faith.”
The observation was that the disciples were asking for the easy way. Instead, Jesus kind of gives them the ruler across the back of the hand, especially in verse 10:
He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
7″Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ “
One thing about faith is that for sure it will undergo testing. Is that a bad thing? No. It all depends on how you look at things.
I got up this morning and thought about the post I wrote earlier this week, and realized that when I wrote it, I was looking at everything from completely the wrong direction. I admit my mistake, and I’m gonna fix it.
The analogy is that when you’re looking at a team of dogs pulling a sled from the side, you see the beauty of the joy the animals have in doing the work. They’re all barking and smiling big doggy-smiles as they run, pulling like crazy. You see the team flying by, with the sled kicking up little rooster-tails of snow as it goes. Great, but if you choose to look at the team from the viewpoint of about the third dog back, well… your view is less than inspiring. Enough said.
All right, so I have here in one hand the concepts of faith – with the accompanying tests, and in the other, the concept of the view you choose to use. When you’re in the middle of a big long test (think painting garage doors…) and you choose to only look at that, you’re missing the point of the test.
As did I.
I’ll be rewriting the post from a different point of view and replacing it.
Now then, one more point to make about faith and tests. (I still don’t have a great answer about faith, but I’m thinking about it.)
But about tests? Oh yeah, you bet I do:
All tests are refining.
In other words, all tests lead to refinement. Turn that phrase over in your mind awhile. Put it to the test, see if it leads to … refinement.