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????? Confusion ?????

It's Causes and Cures

by David A. DePra
     What is confusion? What causes it? Should a Christian ever
be confused? And finally, what cures confusion?
     These are simple questions, and they strike at the heart and
core of what makes us tick as Christians, and as human beings.
Indeed, it is almost impossible to discuss the subject of
confusion without touching upon some of the most foundational
points of our relationship with God.
What is Confusion?
     First, what is confusion? For a sane human being, confusion
is a CONDITION. It is an intellectual and/or emotional condition
where I am torn between the facts as I know them, and a
resolution I cannot find. Thus, confusion is CONFLICT. It is an
inner conflict which arises because I cannot understand my
environment -- mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
     Confusion can arise on many levels. It can occur regarding
everything from a harmless math problem, to the most important
issues of life. But here we need only be concerned with one area
of confusion: That which arises in our walk with Jesus Christ.
For if we come to grips with confusion in that area, our other
areas of confusion will be resolved as well.
"Bad" Confusion
     Why does confusion arise in the life of a Christian? Many of
us assume that if we are confused then it must be because we
have sinned. God is not the author of confusion. So if we are
confused then it cannot be of God. We must therefore obey God
and it will end our confusion.
     It is true that confusion is the result of unbelief and disobedience.
If I refuse to believe God, and willfully disobey Him, I am going
to be confused. But we must ask: Is "confusion" of this sort
really "confusion?" By definition, unbelief is a REFUSAL to
believe. There is a willfulness in it. And if disobedience isn't
willful, then it isn't disobedience. It is ignorance. So yes, while
confusion and darkness do ultimately result from unbelief and
disobedience, this type of confusion is entirely different than the
than the type we are going to discuss regarding our walk with
Jesus Christ.
     This "bad confusion" -- caused by unbelief and disobedience
to God -- is never intellectual or emotional at it's root. It is not the
result of missing "facts." No. "Bad confusion" is a MORAL
confusion. It is the result of holding the Truth in unrighteousness.
It is the result of being able to know, but of refusing to know -- due
to wanting my own way. Thus, my "bad confusion" is the result of
the impossible task of calling right "wrong," and calling wrong
"right." That is confusion! It is a walk in darkness.
     You cannot find one scripture where God ever tells people that
the root of their problem is that they don't know "the facts." Never.
God never tells them that their confusion is because they haven't
yet figured Him out. Nope. But He does tell them they have
hearts which are either slow to believe, or hearts which they have
hardened. Again, "bad confusion" is not an emotional or
intellectual problem. It is a moral problem, between myself and
     If "bad confusion" is the result of turning away from the light; the
result of wanting my own way, then the solution is simple. I must
turn and expose myself to the Light. I must surrender my will to
God. If I do, I will have much repenting to do. But that will set me
free. And I'll find that the forgiveness of God has been waiting for
me. I'll start my way back to clarity and freedom.
"Good" Confusion
     Now all of that being said, it is important here to understand
that NOT ALL confusion and darkness are the result of my
withdrawing from God. There is, in fact, a confusion and darkness
which results from God drawing near to ME. This is a GOOD
confusion and darkness -- and is a normal part of our experience
of growth in Jesus Christ.
     GOOD confusion? GOOD darkness? How can this be so?
Isn't God Light? Doesn't the Bible say God is NOT the author
of confusion, but of peace? So how can it be that darkness and
confusion are products of God drawing near to me?
     "Good confusion" is the initial reaction I will have when God
draws near to me with a new revelation of Himself. As I am being
brought into more of the Light, my confusion and uncertainty are
the initial reactions I will have. Things will appear dark to me
because the Light will initially "blind me."
     We are not equipped to walk with Jesus Christ. We are not
able to grasp the Truth, or come close to grasping God's
purposes for us in this age. Therefore, when God draws near to
us for the purpose of renewing our minds and bringing us on in
the process of spiritual growth, our first reaction will be negative.
We'll be disoriented. We'll be disturbed. We won't understand.
We'll be confused. To us, things will be dark.
     The Bible agrees. Note the following spiritual pictures of God.
Darkness and confusion are shown to be a normal and expected
part of our experience when He draws near:
He made darkness His secret place. His pavilion round about
Him were dark waters and think clouds of the skies. (Ps. 18:11)
Clouds and darkness are round about Him. Righteousness and
judgment are the habitation of His throne. (Ps. 97:2)
And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches
of secret places. (Is. 45:3)
I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create
evil. I, the Lord, do all these things. (Is. 45:7)
For the day of the Lord is at hand. A day of darkness and of
gloominess. A day of clouds and of thick darkness. (Joel 2:1-2)
I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of
old. (Ps. 78:2)
What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light. (Mt. 10:27)
     Yet this darkness, clouds, and confusion are not unto an end
to themselves. They are simply the initial reaction which happens
when God is working with us. Later, we come into clarity, Truth,
and the Light.
For thou wilt light my candle. The Lord my God will enlighten my
darkness. (Ps. 18:28)

Light is sown for the righteous. (Ps. 97:2)

     Light is sown with seeds in darkness. Even physical plants
do more growing in the dark than they do in the light. Ever wake
up in the morning and marvel at how much plants have grown
over night? So it is with those who are in the hand of God. It can
at times be dark. But all of it is UNTO light and freedom.
How Do I Know Which?
     Some Christians become overly wrought about whether they
are in darkness and confusion for the good reason, or for the bad
reason. So they try to "figure out" which. Yet the problem here
is never solved by figuring out anything. It is solved by dropping
all the "figuring out," and believing God NOW.
     The idea that I may be guilty of some secret sin which is
unknown to me, and which is the real cause of all my problems,
and which I must uproot and resolve, is nonsense. These kinds
of fantastic solutions are born out of unbelief. The fact is, I am
literally FILLED with all kinds of so-called secret sins that I know
nothing about. That is the very definition of who I am in Adam.
And there is nothing I can do about them through my efforts. That
is why Christ died.
     The reality is, if I am guilty of sin and unbelief to the point where
it has constituted a step into darkness and confusion, there is no
"figuring out" I need to do. I will KNOW I am guilty. The reason
I'm in darkness is that I KNOW I'm guilty and will not turn. The
reason I'm confused is that I KNOW I'm guilty and will not turn. So
the solution will never be to "figure out" whether I'm guilty of some
secret sin. It will be to confess to God what I know I'm guilty of,
and acknowledge that He has forgiven me in Christ.
     This business of trying to figure out what sin I'm guilty of, and
then of trying to fix it, can become an even greater sin than the
ones I'm trying to remedy. That's because if I am trying to fix sin
in myself, I cannot believe Jesus has already fixed it. Therefore,
I am in unbelief. No wonder I'm confused.
     The greatest sin, according to God, is not found in any moral
violation of His law. Those ARE sin -- to be sure. But the
greatest of all sin is when I try to fix all my other sins in my own
strength. That is the sin of unbelief, and we use many methods
to achieve this, including some that are quite religious. But doing
so is like trying to wash off dirt which has already been washed.
I rub and rub and rub, never believing I am clean. In time, the
very rubbing I am doing becomes the real problem: I begin to
injure and scrub raw the body which I sought to clean and fix.
     Jesus Christ died for ALL my sin. Not just the ones I know
about, or the ones which I have confessed. So if I am wondering
about whether my confusion is the good kind or the bad kind, I
need only turn and open myself to God NOW. Then I will be
where I need to be for Him to have access to me.
Certainty About God
     "Good confusion" is good because of what it indicates. It
indicates that God is calling us out of ourselves, and out of our
reliance upon our understanding, to faith alone in Jesus Christ.
Therefore, while "good confusion" may involve uncertainty about
everything God is doing, it leads us to total certainty about God
     Many Christians do not understand what God is after in these
matters. We think that if we don't understand what He is doing,
that something is wrong. So we try to figure Him out, and perhaps
get under condemnation because we are not able to do so. But
absolute darkness as to what God is doing may indicate that
everything is right! The Christian life is, at times, a walk in total
darkness, but a walk in total certainty about the One who is
God's Classroom
     If you have ever attended a class on a subject you knew
nothing about, you will likely agree that there were times when
you were totally confused about what the instructor was talking
about. This is normal. This is expected. If you were never once
confused, then you didn't learn anything. You were never once
challenged by more than you already possessed in the way of
knowledge. You did not grow. The class was useless.
     Your confusion in the class was a sign that you were being
challenged with more that you presently possessed. The fact
you were in the dark about answers was an indication that you
were about to be enlightened.
     Your confusion did not last forever, did it? (Maybe it did if
you flunked the class!) But generally speaking, confusion over
what is going on in a class is a necessary stage of development.
Eventually, as I am exposed to the subject, I learn. The
confusion is replaced by clarity. I'm not so much in the dark
     Take another example. Have you ever gotten lost as you
travelled to a new place? Sure. You couldn't be expected to
know anything about a place you had never visited. Yet if you
are reading this, you found your way. You aren't still out there,
wandering around. Your lost condition was only temporary. And
if nothing else, you learned about a new place -- through the
experience of getting lost and finding your way out.
     God has us in a great classroom. And He is taking us on
many journeys into places we have never before visited. This
classroom and new place, however, are spiritual. Our classroom
teaches us about Jesus Christ. And it is in Christ that we are
travelling and learning.
     In order to learn about Jesus Christ, and in order to enter the
the riches found in Him, we must be adjusted. We must be faced
with knowledge, experiences, and situations which are MORE
than we have ever possessed. That means that confusion WILL
be part of the process. Darkness -- at least as it appears from
our standpoint -- WILL be part of the experience. Thus, we have
this "good" confusion and darkness. They are not the result of us
withdrawing from God, or of God withdrawing from us. They are
the result of God drawing near to us, and of Him taking us into
a new REALM -- the kingdom of God.
What we THINK We Need
     Never think that when God invades a person and begins to
work with them that it is going to be a joyride. It is not. It is
going to confusing, dark, and at times, terrifying. That's because
a human being is not geared for the kingdom of God. It takes a
tremendous adjustment and a lifetime of trials to become so. But
the confusion and darkness are not the end of the story. They
are only the "withdrawal symtoms" which we must pass through if
we are going to be set free from our addiction to this age; to this
flesh. They are only birth pangs unto something else: A walk
by faith.
     Now, when we are confused, and don't have answers, there is
usually one thing above all which we THINK we need: The facts.
An answer. A Word from God. Then, we reason, our confusion
and discomfort will dissipate and things will be fine.
     Isn't that right? If only God would tell me what I need to know!
If only God would speak to me, somehow and someway, and let
me know the facts about this problem! If only God would provide
me with the Truth -- then I wouldn't be confused. Then I could
be at peace. Then I would understand. Then everything would
make sense!
     If you have walked along with Christ for very long, however,
you have found that God often does NOT give us the answers we
are looking for. Instead, He keeps quiet. Despite the fact that we
pray and pray for answers and solutions, God will often refuse to
speak to us about it. He may leave us in our confusion. And this
condition may, in fact, continue for a long time.
     Why? Doesn't God promise to give us what we need in our
times of need? Sure. But there is a big difference between what
WE think we need in a trial, and what God knows we need. We
usually think we need facts so that our suffering, confusion, and
uncertainty can be alleviated. But God may know we need the
suffering, confusion, and uncertainty because they are will be
used to set us free to a life of faith in Jesus Christ.
Confused About God?
     God is all-wise and all-knowing. And He never acts, or fails
to act, unless it is in our best interests -- from an eternal
perspective. Therefore, we can be sure that when God is silent,
that it is good that He is silent. If God is leaving us in a trial, it is
for our good that we are left in it. And if we are confused, and
God isn't giving us answers, then that too, is for a great purpose.
God is after something through all of it.
     It is here, however, when God doesn't answer and solve our
problems, that things usually shift gears. For when God doesn't
act like we expect Him to act, our confusion and suffering over
circumstances become secondary issues. The primary issue
becomes God Himself. When God doesn't act the way
we expect Him to act it is quite possible, if not inevitable, that we
will become confused about God.
     What does it mean to become confused about God? It means
that I have nothing in my knowledge of Him which can explain
why He is allowing what He is allowing. I cannot refer to anything
I know about God and use it to reconcile the facts as I see them.
     This type of experience, where I cannot explain God, often
occurs when I am in a trial of circumstances. But it can also occur
when my trial is an inward one. When God begins to plow me and
dredge up all kinds of unpleasant reactions and attitudes, I may
not have a grip on what is happening to me. This terrible
experience may be something I had never made room for. It may
be something which throws me into turmoil and confusion. I try to
find God, but can't seem to get a sense of what He is doing. I
have no point of reference for what is happening to me.
     Now, it is right here that we must again see the most vital Truth
of all. Confusion and uncertainty ARE part of the will of God; part
of the process of growth. But they are not things unto themselves.
They are tools, used of God unto a purpose. What is that
purpose? That I might stop leaning upon my own understanding
and perception, and trust God.
     We must repeat it over and over again: The walk of faith is
a walk in total darkness, but in total certainty about God. And
the way I can enter into this walk is to be stripped of my faith
and reliance upon my own understanding.
     There is a great security which comes from thinking I KNOW.
Thousands of Christians are absolutely bound by their demand
to know before they will trust. But when God allows me to face
the unknown, and will not give me answers, then all of my trust in
my understanding will collapse. I must then find a NEW source of
confidence. Rather than in my own understanding, I must, by
faith, place my confidence in God Himself.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own
understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall
direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD,
and depart from evil. (Prov. 3:5-6)
     Can we grasp this? God Himself sees to it that life befuddles
us! God Himself sees to it that we are faced with more than we
can explain. Yet all of it is unto a great purpose: That we may
trust in Him without knowing why or how. That we may abandon
ourselves totally into His hands.
Be not afraid of sudden fear....for the Lord shall be thy confidence,
and shall keep thy foot from being taken. (Prov. 3:25-26)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will

fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort

me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine

enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

(Ps. 23:4-5)

     God desires that we stop having faith in our understanding,
and begin having faith in Him. This transition is central to what it
means to unconditionally surrender to God. For once we stop
relying upon our understanding, we have fully handed ourselves
over to God.
     The term "faith in our understanding" might be confusing. But
it is often the only faith many of us practice. We think we know.
And as long as we think we understand, we feel secure. But we
are deceived. The fact is, we don't know. And the time is going
to come when God is going to expose our inadequacy. We will
be faced with circumstances which cannot be explained with our
present concept of God. Then we will learn what it really means
to have faith. Again: Faith is to walk in total darkness, yet with full
certainty in the One who is leading.
     Does this mean that we are to spend our lives walking around
in ignorance, sure of nothing? No. We are talking here about
what we rely upon. Those who walk by faith know God. But
they also realize there is always more to God than they could
ever perceive. Thus, they do possess the Truth. But their faith
is in the fact that the Truth Himself possesses them! They hold
close the Truth. But their faith is in the fact that the Truth holds
     What we see here is something which should carry us out of
ourselves. WE are not the glue which holds our universe
together. It is not OUR perception of God which carries us. It is
God's possession of US. We are merely given little pieces
which we are priviledged to understand.
     The best example in the Bible of someone who was confused
about what God was doing is Job. Job is, in fact, God's example
of how He works with His people. In Job's experience we find
out some of the story behind God's dealings, and where God
wants to bring us through it all.
     Job knew the Lord. He had heard about God and believed
what he heard. He had believed and obeyed God. God said so.
But then his world came crashing down, and Job had nothing by
which he could explain it. His beliefs about God did not make
room for someone who obeyed God to suffer such tragedy. Yet
he did suffer it. The result was confusion and darkness. Job did
not understand. He could not understand.
Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to His
seat! I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with
arguments. I would know the words which he would answer me,
and understand what he would say unto me. Will He plead
against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in
me. There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be
delivered for ever from my judge. Behold, I go forward, but He is
not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive Him: On the left
left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth
Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him. (Job 23:3-9)
But then Job concludes:
But HE KNOWS the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall
come forth as gold. (Job 23:10)
     Get that great Truth. Job had no answers for why God had
allowed his trial. Job wished and longed for the opportunity to
talk with God; to have God explain to him what was happening.
But Job could not find God. He had looked everywhere; tried
every gimmic in the book. Yet at last, Job was beginning to
emerge from his confusion. He said, "I can't find God. But God
has found me. I don't know God's way, but He knows mine. I
can't see God, but God sees me."
     Here we see utter reliance, not upon MY faith to find God, but
upon God's faithfulness to find me. Not upon MY ability to know
God, but upon God's faithfulness to reveal Himself to me. This
is again a walk by faith: In total darkness, but with total certainty
in the One who is leading.
     God allowed all of this to happen to Job for an eternal purpose.
He wanted to alter Job's perspective of God forever. Job said it
I have uttered what I understood not. Things too wonderful for me,
which I knew not...I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear.
But now my eye sees you. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent
in dust and ashes." (Job 42:3-5)
     Job's conclusion was NOT the result of God explaining to him
what was going on. In fact, you can't find anywhere that God ever
explained to Job why those tragedies occurred. Job's
realization, and repentance, were NOT the result of him seeing
the "facts," or the "answers." His repentance was the result of
Job seeing GOD.
     We all utter things we really don't understand. And we can get
quite spiritually proud over them. There is a certain security we
get from thinking we "know the Truth." But then the Truth comes.
And the first thing it does is expose our house of cards. We find
that all the things we uttered cannot explain the trial. They cannot
carry us through. We have to find God. And in time, we will. Our
faith is then no longer in our ability to understand. It is in God
Walking on Water
     Faith is never reliant upon us understanding what God is doing.
Faith believes and trusts that it it sufficient that God knows.
Thus, what we come to is this: "Good confusion" is not DOUBT.
It is not an accusation towards God. Neither is it a product of
rebellion. No. "Good confusion" is simply not knowing. It is a
an opportunity to keep our minds, hearts, and eyes, on Jesus
     This Truth is expressed in the incident of Jesus walking on the
waters of the Sea of Gallilee. Remember it? Jesus was coming
to the disciples, walking on the water. But they were also
surrounded by a terrible storm. Peter asked to come out to Jesus
on the water. As he did, he began to sink, "because he saw the
waves and the storm." When it was all done, Jesus asked him,
"Oh ye of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matt. 14:23-33)
     Now, Jesus wasn't being unreasonable. If He upbraided
Peter, we can be sure it was justified. Peter evidently had what
he needed to walk out to Jesus, namely, a word from the Lord
Himself to do so. But he doubted. And He began to sink.
     Note the tremendous spiritual lessons in this experience. For
instance, when Peter asked to walk out to Jesus, Jesus didn't say,
"In a moment, Peter. Wait until I make the storm stop." No. Peter
had to step out of the boat in the midst of the storm. God does
not stop all of the sources of turmoil, confusion, and uncertainty
BEFORE we are to step out in faith. Rather, we are to step out
despite these things -- right in the middle of them.
     Peter did step out of the boat. And we know what happened.
He looked at the waves and wind and storm, and they got to him.
They were so real! He could feel the wind on his face. The water
was whipping up all around him, drenching him. And even though
Jesus DID tell him to come out to Him, maybe Jesus didn't
quite understand the situation. Did He really expect Peter to
walk on water with a storm going on?
     Peter began to transfer what started out as faith in Jesus to
faith in his grasp of the situation. Any thinking man would be
crazy to believe this Man who was walking on water rather than
what his senses told him. So despite having the word from Jesus
Christ to come out on the water, Peter took his eyes off of the
object of his faith, and put them on the contradiction of the waves
and the storm.
     Peter's reaction was more than just an emotional one. Much
more. Emotions may be a reaction to a situation. But they are
not faith. Indeed, if I can feel it, it is not faith. Faith is an act of
will based on the Word of God. It is surrender to the One I'm
believing. Emotions are merely the surface reactions of the flesh.
I can have terrible emotions and a godly faith, or wonderful
emotions and no faith at all. Christians need to discern the
difference between faith and emotions. It will save us much
     It is a fact that Peter really doubted. He didn't sink because
he physically took his eyes off of Jesus. No. He took his eyes
off of Jesus because he doubted. He had put his eyes, and
consequently, his faith, on the storm. IT, to Peter, was telling the
Truth. Not Jesus. Peter had forgotten the verse in Isaiah:
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on
thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Is. 26:3)
     The solution to the storm is not to turn upon the storm and try
to fight it. That never works. In fact, it makes things worse,
because now my mind is focused upon the storm even more.
Rather, I need to set my mind upon Jesus. If I do, the storm
around me will not cease. But the storm within me shall cease.
I'll gain the peace of God because my mind, and faith, are on
the One who is in charge.
     We must not neglect the boat in this spiritual picture. The boat,
afterall, was Peter's only security in this situation. Sure, it was
being tossed a bit to and fro by the waves, but it WAS something
to cling to. Our boat is the thing we can see and feel -- the place
we occupy spiritually BEFORE we step out in faith. It is the point
of security we must forsake if we are to step out to Jesus.
     Peter had to step out of what security he had in the midst of
the storm, and simply believe what Jesus said. He began well.
Indeed, Peter actually asked Jesus if he might come out to Him.
But once Peter stepped out of the boat, he was walking where
he had never walked before -- on water.
     Water is totally foreign territory for man. We can't breathe in it,
and certainly can't walk on it. On water, we are totally out of our
element. It's like this when God calls us forth out of our boat to
His Son. He calls us to walk by faith upon alien territory. He calls
us to a spiritual territory we know nothing of. It has many waves,
billows, and terrifying aspects to it. These can cause confusion
and a sense of uncertainty. But He does call us. And He would
not do that if it were not possible, by faith, to walk there.
     Despite beginning well, Peter began to encounter things
which contradicted Jesus: The wind, waves, and storm. Peter
had never stood, without a boat, without any haven of rest, on
the top of raging waves. This was all new. And when the sea
began to rise up upon him, and seem to threaten him, He took
his eyes -- his faith -- off of Jesus and began to believe what the
storm was suggesting to him.
     The story doesn't end there, however. Remember what
happened next? It's usually left out of the teaching on the incident.
When Peter sank, Jesus didn't say, "Too bad. You didn't have
enough faith. Down you go." No. Jesus RESCUED Peter, and
got him back to the boat.
     Do we see what this means? It means that when we fail to
keep our eyes on Jesus, God doesn't disown us. No. He does
not condemn us. Jesus simply grabbed Peter and got him back
to the boat -- that is -- brought him back to the starting place. Back
to the place where Jesus said, "Come forth." He then corrected
Peter for doubting.
     If we fail in a trial, and allow confusion and darkness to keep US
from getting to Jesus, Jesus will get to US. He will get us back to
the boat. But only for another day. He will take us back to the
starting place so that He can build us up again to the point where
we will have opportunity to once again step out of the boat and
come to Him.
     God is an eternally redemptive God. It is never too late to turn
to Him. There is always a new beginning in Jesus Christ -- even
with regard to the trials and lessons God wants to teach us through
confusion, storms, and turmoil.

The Trial of Faith

     What is "a trial of faith?" Often, we think "a trial of faith" is the
problem, sickness, circumstance, or confusion we are suffering.
But those things are only vehicles. The trial OF faith is exactly
that: It is a trial OF FAITH. In other words, our faith is what is
being tried.
     Now, in order for our faith to be tried, we must be plunged into
something which will tax our faith to the limit. We must be faced
with trials and testings which will call into question what we
believe about God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We must face
things which suggest that our faith is nonsense, and that we are
fools for trusting God. Indeed, our faith is not being tested unless
our relationship and trust in God is being contradicted and
challenged by what we feel, see, and hear.
     We MUST grasp this. A trial of faith doesn't occur when our
doctrinal beliefs are challenged. It doesn't occur merely when
we must go through a tough time. A trial of faith occurs when
our faith in God Himself is put to the test! It occurs when
everything we believe about God -- our confidence, security,
rest, and reliance upon Him -- when all of that is attacked,
challenged, and seemingly contradicted. That's when we have
a trial of faith. And that's when we will either grow or fall back.
     By definition, if we are in "a trial of faith," we WILL be confused
about God. We simply will not have answers. But if we respond
in a trial of faith the way God wants us to respond, WE WON'T
NEED ANSWERS. Why? Because we have God Himself.
     So how do we respond? By standing. That's the constant
picture God gives in the Bible. We stand our ground. We hold
our ground. We refuse to be moved by anything which might
seem to contradict God. We have the right to stand by faith
because the victory is already won.
     Do you see that? You can't STAND and HOLD ground if the
territory is still in dispute. Only if the victory is already won can you
stand and refuse to be moved and be sucessful. This is, of
course, the core of Truth found in the gospel. We are not called
to win the victory. We are called to stand in His finished victory,
and to do it regardless of personal cost.
They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot
be removed, but abideth for ever. As the mountains are round
about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from
henceforth even forever. (Ps. 125:1)
     A stand in the trial of faith is a stand for the faithfulness of God,
regardless of whether I can understand how God could possibly
be faithful in the situation. I trust without understanding. I trust
without explainations, or facts. I trust because I know that God
Himself is the answer. He does all things well.
     Finally, what exactly is faith?
     There are many implied "definitions" of faith in the Bible. The
most direct one is found in Hebrews 11:1. "Faith is the
substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
     Read that again, closely. Notice what it really says, and does
not say. You might be surprised. It says that faith is substance.
Faith is evidence. It is substance and evidence of those things
which we cannot yet see, and yet hope for.
     This makes faith a substitute. It is a substitute which holds
things together until the "things not seen" and the "things hoped
for" can be worked out. But it is not an imaginary substitute. It is
not the product of my mind. It is divine EVIDENCE. It is divine
SUBSTANCE. It is something REAL. It is of God Himself.
     Genuine faith is never generated from myself as the source. If
it were generated from myself, then it would be a product of my
mind, will, and emotions. For what else do I have to work with?
And if my faith is a product of these, then my faith is not of the
Holy Spirit. It is of me.
     Despite this, many Christians continue to "try to generate faith."
They try to get God to do stuff for them. We have forgotten that
Jesus is both the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith. Faith is
not of us!
     No. Real faith is not generated from myself. It is generated
from God. It is a divine substance and evidence placed within
me by God. It is the substance and evidence which is upholding
me until the reality is brought to pass.
     How do we receive this faith; this substance and evidence?
We have already received it. All of us have been given a
measure of faith. And God is in the process of giving us the
opportunity to stand in that faith against that which would
contradict it. If we will stand, our faith will grow. We will more
and more see what it is the substance and evidence of. But if we
will not stand, then we will move away from God to something
Faith for the Eternal Ages
     Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence
of things not seen. Therefore, faith is reality. It is an eternal
deposit of God which girds and holds us up in His purposes.
     Regarding confusion, then, we can see the place of faith.
Faith in God is a substitute for the facts. It is a substitute for
understanding. Yet not an inferior substitute. It is divine substance
and evidence of those things which I cannot see or perceive.
I may not have a clue as to what God is doing, but within me is
evidence that what He is doing is good.
     The result of standing by faith is two-fold. First, I die. To
stand by faith can be likened to standing in a terrible sand storm.
The wind and sand are going to pummel me and strip me of
everything. Every emotional crutch I relied upon will go. I'll have
nothing left but --- what? But faith! Faith, hope, and love: These
three abide.
     Have you ever been spiritually "sandblasted" by the enemy?
Have you ever had to stand by faith when everything around you
seemed to be working against you; contradicting your faith?
     Again we see great irony in the ways of God. The more I
stand by faith, the more I become reduced to the point where
faith in God is all I have. It must be so. Faith, as we experience
it, is but a seed for something eternal. It is a but a preliminary
segway to something which will be released and experienced
in the eternal ages. So the more I become reliant upon God
HERE, the more I am being prepared for life in Christ THERE.
     The Christian life is a walk on water out to Jesus, in the midst
of terrible confusion, darkness, and turmoil. But we do have His
Word to "come forth." And if we will put aside all the uncertainty
suggested to us by our human perception, and keep our eyes
on Jesus, we will reach the arms of the only One in whom we
CAN be certain.

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