Victoria Riollano of Victory Speaks
The Truth About Being A Believer
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
I couldn’t stop obsessing about it.
After months of planning for our church fall festival, we had run into a major issue. A week before the event, the forecast called for severe thunderstorms. As the official point person for the festival, I was immediately concerned. Between the vendors secured, the entertainment we had purchased for the kids, the church merchandise that had been ordered, and the money spent on advertising, canceling the festival was going to hurt more than just my feelings. Panic ensued.
There was simply not enough time and resources to reschedule the event and not incur a major loss. It was in those seven days leading up to the event that I realized my inner tendencies to worry, worry, and worry. I spent hours on weather apps, comparing the times the rain would start or stop. I couldn’t sleep and wondered what if anything I could do to fix this situation. Sadly, I didn’t run to prayer. In my mind, I figured God had more important things to handle than a fall festival. I analyzed every scenario and justified why God would allow this to happen. Maybe a cancelation was His will I figured. Maybe He didn’t realize we were putting on the event to let people know about His church?
In the midst of it all, I heard the Lord say, “You are a believer, but you’re not a believer.”
Stunned at this still small voice, I wondered how this could be possible. I had been a believer of the Gospel for almost two decades. I lead worship and helped to start churches. How could the Lord not see me as one of His faithful ones?
You see, the Lord wasn’t challenging my belief in Him and His ability to bring people into eternal life. Instead, He was challenging me to actually believe in His power for the here and now. Yes, I was great at believing God for the heavenly blessings but in everyday life I struggled with needing to be in control and not trusting God.
I was guilty of being a believer who wasn’t a believer.
I am afraid I am not the first. I am convinced that many Christ-followers struggle to believe in His power. We see this in the story of Thomas in John 20. After the resurrection, as Jesus started to appear to His disciples, some questioned how it could be possible. Yet, we see a moment where Jesus challenged Thomas’ doubt. Jesus asks Thomas to touch him to prove that He was indeed flesh and bones resurrected from grace and not just a spirit or his imagination.
Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:27-29
The words of Jesus are so powerful and a reminder that our primary responsibility as a Christian is to have faith. Like Thomas, many of us have faith that requires us to see it before we believe it. Which isn’t faith at all! I’ve come to learn that it's easy to have “faith” with things we can control or situations that are easy. But when we must trust God for something bigger than us, this is when faith matters. When we face an illness that we’re told is incurable or when our finances seem daunting, we walk in faith, knowing that God’s will shall prevail in our lives. When we deal with difficult relationships we believe for restoration. Even if we don’t understand, we trust that the Lord is with us. We remember that we are blessed when we walk in the assurance that the Lord always has a plan.
This is what my church’s fall festival taught me. And the Lord being as good as He is, completely cleared the forecast twenty-four hours before the event! Not a single drop of rain fell until we drove off of the lot at the end of the event! We had an amazing turnout and so many were blessed. This was just another example of the Lord reminding us that He cares about every detail! What an amazing God we serve.
Lord, I thank you for taking notice of every detail. Forgive me for the time I become obsessive and choose not to trust you. Teach me to release control. I trust you for my health. I trust you with my family. I trust you for my finances and every other area of my life. God, show me when I am not being a true believer of your Word. I thank you for searching my heart and showing me when I allow worry to consume my mind. I praise you for being a good Father who delights in His creation and who still answers prayers. Help me to not just believe in who you are, but also your ability to shift my circumstance in an instant. You are my place of comfort and stability all the days of my life. In Jesus name. Amen.
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*Portions of this article were originally published on ibelieve.com and Your Daily Prayer Podcast*