Monday, July 25, 2011

Still Intending To Do God's Will, Despite Feeling Forsaken

Be not deceived, Wormwood, our cause is never more in jeopardy than when a human, no longer desiring but still intending to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe in which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys." C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (The head demon, Screwtape, speaking to the junior demon, Wormwood).
There are levels of faith.  

The first level is where we believe something for which we have great evidence.  For example, I have faith that the chair I am sitting on will support me because I have sat in it a thousand times and it has consistently supported me.  Put in terms of our Faith journey, this would be having faith in God when we feel very connected to Him; when it feels like He is walking right beside us and He is answering our prayers.  The problem with this type of faith is that it always demands signs.  

The second level of faith is believing in something despite the lack of clear evidence.  An example of this type of faith is a car that has been parked in the garage for a year.  Generally, cars start up immediately when we turn the keys; however, if it has been sitting in the garage for a year, something may have happened to the battery or engine that will make it so the car will not start.  In terms of our Faith journey, this would be when God is silent.  We have evidence in His Word that He loves us, but it may feel like our prayers are not being heard.  If we continue to trust, however, our faith remains intact.

The third and strongest level of faith is when we actually may have evidence against something, but we choose to believe despite the contrary evidence.  This is the level of faith that Screwtape is telling Wormwood is almost impossible to overcome.  It is a deep faith when we choose to believe the promises in God's Word despite the feeling of abandonment. That is the faith talked about in Hebrews 11.  "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."  

Note that I am not saying that there is not evidence for our faith. We always have evidence of God.  We have evidence in His Word. We have evidence in the sunrise.  There will be dark times in our life, however, where we will have cause to doubt His love for us.  If, at times like this, we choose to believe the truths in His Word, then we have the Faith that can move mountains. 

What say you?
Where are you on your Faith journey right now? 
When was the most difficult time in your life for you to believe that God loved you?


  1. I don't think I have ever questioned God's love for me at the same time I have questioned His existence. Though I have had moments when I have questioned one or the other very intensely.

    Even more curious, I am likely to question God's existence most when He clearly reveals Himself. He always comes with a purpose requiring a response. For me, His tangible existence can sometimes stir more fear than His absence.

  2. Excellent point, Michael. Makes me think of the famous line from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe: "Is He is a safe lion?" "Safe, safe?!?! No he is not safe, but he is good."

  3. Yes, I have always loved that line (and quite a few others from Narnia).