A gracEmail reader asks, “How do I know if my faith is adequate? It is so weak. And what if my works or obedience are inadequate? How can I have confidence that God loves me?”
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God, who sees the heart, knows if humble trust is there or not. Our works and obedience demonstrate our faith, but we need not fear that they are inadequate if our heart is true — for they will then follow. I have some hibiscus plants in my back yard. Some days they bloom and some days they do not. But they are clearly alive. If I went out and the plant was obviously dead, I would cut it down. But when I see life and growth, even though no blossoms, I do not cut it down but rather nourish it, water it and work with it. God sees whether life is there or not in our hearts (indeed, he placed it there to begin with!) and he is pleased to work with us even if our faith is very weak and very small.
The greatness of our faith is not that our faith is great, but that our faith is in a God who is great. I sometimes have to drive across a rather old bridge that looks for all the world like it might fall into the river any minute. As a matter of fact, however, the bridge is constructed of very solid steel, and it is easily able to bear the load of all the traffic which crosses it day by day. If I have enough faith in the bridge to cross it, it will hold me safely — not because I feel particularly secure on it, but because it is a strong and solid bridge.
We must not confuse feelings with reality. Our feelings reflect only our perception of reality, not reality itself. Faith placed in God is well-founded, not because our faith is strong, or powerful, or dependable, but because God is trustworthy and strong and kind. We know that supremely because of Jesus Christ, the only person who ever trusted God totally in life and in death. What happened to him? God was faithful to Jesus. He vindicated Jesus’ faith, by raising him from the dead and giving him a place of honor beside him in heaven. Jesus assures us that we can trust God completely!