Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
These are probably the greatest words of faith ever uttered. These words were spoken by Job during his time of trials. With everything stripped away and friends turning into condemning critics, in his heart of grief this man declared his trust in God even if it should take him to the grave.
Everyone trusts God while things are going well. It’s easy to walk with God down a smooth path, but true faith emerges when it is tried. Job is not alone in the testing of his faith. Hezekiah was a faithful king and was known for upholding the word of the Lord and walking in obedience. Yet the Bible makes an interesting statement about Hezekiah, “God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that he might know everything in his heart.”
Faith isn’t truly known until it has been tried and proven. The greatest promises of God are given after we have been proven faithful. When the nation of Israel was delivered from the slavery of Egypt, God required no faith, but when it came time to inherit the promise, God tested their faith. The Lord led them directly to the Promised Land, sent twelve people into the land to spy it out, and by this God proved their faith. Or should I say, proved their faith to be false.
The sole reason for sending in the spies was to reveal the challenges that lay before them. They had already seen God’s power to break the will of Pharaoh. His power was witnessed when the people were delivered through the parting of the sea. And the manna from heaven. When the pursuing army of Pharaoh was crushed by God, the people sang and rejoiced in the deliverance of God. It took no faith to walk with God, for His works were given without requiring anything on their part. But the works served a purpose. God proved Himself to the people, and now that they stood on the edge of the promise, God required the people to prove their trust in Him. If they trusted Him, they would follow Him into the danger before them.
As most of us know, they could not stand in faith, and the people refused to go into the trials. They turned away from where God was leading and even were willing to return to their former life of bondage. A million and a half people died without ever seeing God’s best because they could not trust God when He called them to step out in faith.
True faith places our lives in God’s hands – regardless of the circumstances and regardless of the outcome. “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him,” is a declaration of faith, believing that even in tragedy God has a purpose and works to our good. God has promised that all things work for my good. I either believe this or I don’t. I either trust Him, or I trust my circumstances. I either believe God, or I believe fear and doubt. We will have fear and doubt, but that cannot overcome faith. Faith says, “I am afraid, but because He has promised me good, and because I’ve seen the evidence of His favor, I will go where He leads and leave the results in His hands.”
Anyone can have a superficial faith that thrives when the going is easy. True faith is proven in difficulties. Real faith trusts God when obedience puts our safety in jeopardy. Faith is the confidence that enables us to lay down our lives, take up the cross and follow Him. Faith isn’t easy, but when we believe God, we’ll be willing to give our circumstances to the Lord so He can work to bring good out of each situation. All things work for our good. It’s a promise – but only promised to those who answer His call and walk according to His purposes.
No one will see the fullness of God’s goodness without first trusting Him when human nature calls us to turn back. Hardships are a part of life, but only the faithful will see the promise behind the challenges of life. When God proves you, place your hopes upon Him and trust Him through the valley. Those who sow in tears will reap in joy (Psalm 126:5).