“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
I’ve been there, and if you’re reading this, I’m guessing perhaps you either are, or have been there too. You felt God call you to do something, so you took a step of faith and then…nothing, nada, zilch. You are certain you heard God’s call clearly; it lined up with His Word, godly counsel confirmed it, and your prayers provided you with direction, but then the situation did not play out at all how you had imagined. You were certain that God would come through in a particular way and then it just didn’t play out like you thought it would. The particular step of faith may be different for each of us. Nevertheless, whatever your situation might look like, it can be confusing and frustrating when your step of faith seemingly goes nowhere. If this is you today, I just want to tell you to not get discouraged, hang in there, God has a great plan for you!
I can think of more than one time in my life that I have felt confusion when my step of faith did not generate the results I anticipated. One particular example relates to my education. Long (and I mean very long) story short, I received my bachelor’s degree in history. I know, I can see the grimaces now; not exactly the degree to get if you are looking for gainful employment after graduation. Anyways, in my mid-twenties, I begin to wish I had pursued a different degree; like any other degree. With that in mind, I promised myself that any future education that I tackled would be very practical and highly employable. Fast forward a few more years and I began to clearly sense God calling me to complete a master’s degree in theology. I know, right?! Seriously, if any degree could be less practical (from a worldly standpoint), or less employable than a history degree, it would probably be a theology degree! While I was initially reluctant to go down that road, further prayer and counsel confirmed I should move in that direction. So, I took a step of faith. I enrolled in a master’s of theological studies program and completed it last May.
Now, when I took my step of faith, being obedient to God’s calling, I imagined that once I graduated I would land a job in ministry that was just the right fit for me. I dreamed that upon the completion of the program I would have full clarity regarding why God called me to pursue this path. Well, that’s not exactly what happened. While going through the program my husband and I were blessed with the birth of our third son. Upon his arrival, my plans for full-time ministry work all changed as I knew that I was supposed to continue to be home with my little guys during this season in life, which is a decision I have not regretted for a second. So, now I have a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in theology…and no job in sight. When people ask me today what I hope to do with my latest degree my husband cannot help but to try and hide a smile as the obvious answer to most people is that I will stay unemployed forever! However, while my step of faith did not produce the immediate results I had anticipated, God has taught me some amazing lessons through the process.
First, our job as believers in Jesus Christ is to take a step of faith when He gives us direction. We don’t need to know the entire master plan (and we probably never will), we just need to be obedient to take the first step. Second, and I know none of us like to hear this one, but God’s timing is often not the same as ours. While things may not unfold as we had pictured following our first step, it does not mean that we shouldn’t have taken it. God may be working out many details in the process that we are not privy too. Lastly, we need to remain faithful, regardless of what our circumstances seem to be. Rather than getting discouraged over what has not happened, we need to readily wait for clarity on our next step of faith. Once we receive direction, we need to once again take a step in obedience, trusting that God will handle the details. While we may not understand the fullness and timing of God’s plan, we will never go wrong by taking a step of faith! What step do you need to take today?