“To the best of my understanding, faith is trusting God enough to obey what He has said, and hope is having the confidence that God will do everything He has promised. One pushes you; the other pulls you.” Erwin McManus
Joshua my oldest (22) has been home from Indiana on Spring Break and it has been great having the tallest giant back in my house for a while. The weeks leading up to coming home were tough for Josh, he was struggling to make some major decisions and it was testing his faith. His relationship with Father God wasn’t where he wanted it to be and Josh was questioning his own character and his heart. He wrestled, he prayed and he repented…I believe it was his first “dark night of the soul”.
Oswald Chambers talks about this in his book, "Abandoned to God". "The mystics used to speak of 'the dark night of the soul' (or 'night season') as a time of spiritual darkness and dryness, not the direct result of sins committed, but rather a deep conviction of sin itself within the heart and mind. It's a time the person 'is being brought to an end of himself,' and made aware of the utter worthlessness of his own nature when stripped of all religious pretensions. Moreover, there was the willingness to abandon all for Christ's sake, to deny - not only his evil self but also his good self."
On the way home from the airport after picking him up, Josh said this to me…
“I realized just how important it was to be right before God.”
That attitude and desire drove him to make difficult, hard, but ultimately, faith strengthening decisions. His hope was that God would meet him in that dark place and bring some much needed light. The end result…he felt free. For a Dad that’s an awesome thing to witness, one of my children cementing their faith in a way that makes them free. It made me think…
That faith and hope enables us to do what is right and positions us
for God’s promise of freedom.
“And you shall do the right and good in the sight of Jehovah, so that it may be well with you, and so that you may go in and possess the good land which Jehovah swore to your fathers.” Duet. 6:18
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11: 1
How is your faith pushing you? How is hope pulling you?