I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!
Psalm 27:13-14

I tend to mentally substitute the work trust when ever I see the word faith. It has more of a relational sense to it; we tend to look at faith as an object (as in “the Christian Faith”), a quality or even an ability or special power that some have more of than others. But really, it’s just a raw decision to trust God, often in spite of our feelings. Do we really trust Him? You’ll find out when hard times hit.

Two years ago, I lost my job. Technological changes forced a downsizing, and the recession of 2008 didn’t help matters. I had been with this employer nearly 24 years and had served well; but as the junior man in my department (all the other people beneath me on the seniority list had been laid off years before), in a union shop, I was the next to go. In February of 2010 this finally happened. I’ve since started a business and taken some temp assignments; there’s still a lot up in the air, but I’m increasingly confident that God is really there and He is active in our situation.

What I’ve learned is that it’s easy to think you trust God when you’re healthy and employed. We give mental assent to God’s provision, but when difficulties test us we will find out whether our trust is in God or our own situation and abilities. We were shaken; and (despite the emotional roller coaster) we have grown much closer to God as we have been tested. And we have seen some remarkable, bolt-out-of-the-blue provisions that were too remarkable to be entirely coincidental.

It’s when you’re in dire straits that we learn if we really rest in His faithfulness. If He blessed right away, if our prayers were answered to our satisfaction exactly when we wanted, these prayers would be more of a business transaction than an opportunity to trust. And that is what it boils down to in the end: a decision to trust God’s character and His faithfulness to us as His followers.

Faith is the kid sitting down in the dentist’s chair because his mom says it will be okay.