What do we do when trials come to test our faith?
Do we trust God enough to leave the outcome in His hand, or do we grow anxious and try to seize control of the situation? Is God our first source of provision or our last-ditch effort at finding an answer?
God tests our faith to produce patience and character, to cause our faith to grow even stronger in Him.
Once while we were pastoring a small congregation, we had hired an individual to oversee our child care center.
This person came with very high recommendations but it soon became apparent that there were some serious issues with integrity.
To make a long story short this person embezzled thousands of dollars, some of which were state and federal funds. We became aware of the situation when the manager of our bank pulled my husband aside one day as he was making a personal deposit to ask why he was not returning his calls.
We were completely unaware of his repeated attempts to contact the church office since all calls were channeled through the office of this person we had hired.
While skimming funds off the top, this individual also failed to pay the bills and our mortgage had remained unpaid for two months which placed us close to foreclosure.
We were still both young, in our early thirties, and facing complete ruin.
We were dealing with a person who had drained our church and business funds, extending to even the federal level. If we lost our building, we would most likely also lose our reputation as pastors as well.
In times of utter darkness we had learned to call upon God who is our help. “Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord” (Ps. 121:1b-2a).
At that time our church owned a rental property, which we had wanted to sell but for which we could not find a buyer.
The day before foreclosure we received a call from the renter saying that he was prepared to purchase the rental property and had cash in hand. It was a genuine miracle.
We met at the bank that day to sign the papers and pay the mortgage. (This was before the days when property purchase agreements were not as thick as novels.)
At the midnight hour, so to speak, our resource came in.
God is never late but there are times when He will test your faith. All tests and trials of life are all about God revealing to us His character and our need.
We tend to turn to God when we have nowhere else to turn, but God wants us to dwell in Him. He wants us to turn to Him first.
Times of stress and turmoil squeeze out of us the parts we have not yet yielded to God so we can come face to face with our need.
He then reveals Himself as our source.
He does not always answer our need as we would expect, but in His all-seeing, all-knowing, and all-wise character He will answer with what is best for us.
The question is can we trust His answer for us?
Wanda Hackett has been leading children’s ministries for over 40 years in churches throughout the States and Canada. She has a strong passion to see children experience Jesus Christ on their level – in a very living and relevant way. She has written numerous Children’s church curricula, some of which has been translated into Croatian! She has three children – who are all in full-time ministry – and nine grandchildren.