Now faith is confidence in what we hope for….

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

During extensive military training, extreme demands placed on participants can cause some to lose hope. Their weakened physical and mental state may lead to self-doubt and despair. Some will even second guess their decision to participate or even remain in the military. A hopeless mindset is very destructive and so the military reminds them to draw on past experiences and to keep themselves moving forward. Our military, especially those in operation roles, must be in training mode all the time and when they are not training they are putting that training into practice. Learning, training, and doing creates FAITH in an individual’s own abilities, helping our military overcome adversity.

FAITH involves trust and grows as we practice what we are taught. If an individual possess all the qualifications and licensures to practice dentistry but never treats anyone and even refuses to help someone in need of emergency dental work, is that individual really a dentist? No. They are nothing more than someone with knowledge and potential. To be a dentist, an individual must treat patients. The same principle applies to people who say they are Christians but don’t live by faith. FAITH leads them to live according to scripture and to seek and follow God’s will and direction for their life. FAITH causes them to believe and trust in God’s provision, comfort, protection, leadership, and wisdom in all things. If an individual can’t identify how they are living by FAITH, are they really a Christian?

Serving in the military is linked to surviving and overcoming obstacles. During training or day-to-day service, our military are often exposed to different operational scenarios and these experiences gives them the FAITH that they will overcome their circumstances. Those with limited exposure must rely on others to coach and guide them forward but they must personally continue to do all they can to bring themselves up to a functional mode. Because, as with most struggles in life, we start by facing it alone, and so we need to be able to survive the initial assaults.

A Christian’s faith is tested when one faces life in the raw; when an illness strikes or a difficult financial situation occurs or family disharmony is present. Our response to these situations will suggest what kind of FAITH we have. Individuals can lose themselves in fear or grief and will struggle because they are unable to focus on anything other than their predicament. A Christian living by FAITH recognizes struggles, and seeks God’s help. We know He offers a calming effect to help us examine our situation and deal with it. FAITH reminds us of His love and His promise and helps us keep our eyes on the prize; Jesus.

God could make all our life’s struggles go away if we ask. However, He has given us the ability to make decisions and choices and wants us to use our moral and common sense to do so. Most predicaments we face are self-inflicted and like a good Father, He lets us face them. He knows our experiences and study of His word will help us choose wisely. Even in situations we did not seem to bring about, He walks with us but does not interfere. He will offer comfort and peace to address fear and grief, allowing us to put into practice what our FAITH has allowed to grow in us. God’s desire is that we don’t panic or lose hope when life gets tough, but that we put our FAITH in Him to bring us through whatever life has to offer. Talk with God during good times and acknowledge His presence so that when the going gets tough, our first response will be to seek Him and allow our FAITH to carry us.