Monday, September 9, 2013

What if?

"At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it." -Hebrews 12:11

I often do not like to speak about the trials in our lives as a "test" given to us by God. Nor do I often share with others that they should see their challenges as God's discipline. For many the mere thought that God is testing or disciplining us in this life can give a wrong impression of our God. In our spiritual immaturity, we could get stuck on that wrong impression and thus not be able to overcome how a loving merciful God would care to test or discipline us. However, as I continued to reflect on this notion I was led to the thought, what if?

What if God is testing us? Does that mean God doesn't love us? What if God was challenging us in order to discipline us? Does that mean God has no concern for us? Should we get stuck and angry or should we accept and evaluate how we are enduring?

Do we have the faith and courage to see our obstacles, challenges and sufferings as an opportunity to put that same faith into practice? I am first to say that it is far easier to live out our faith in God when all is well. The faith journey is great when I have peace in my heart and I am experiencing so much love. My faith is so alive when things seem to be going my way and everything seems to be clear! However, what happens when the journey is not easy? What happens when I do not have peace in my heart and I am experiencing everything but love? How do I go forth when things are not going my way and I do not have clarity?

Is faith only for the joyous moments? How does my faith guide me when I'm lost or discouraged? Can I muster the faith to say "I do not understand, but Jesus I trust in you!"

Due to the presence of sin in our own life and in the lives of others there will be pain and sufferings. There will be moments to quit and run away. We will be tempted to get angry and get even. This is not the way! Sure it is easier, but deep down inside we know it is not the answer and it will not give us the peace that we seek.

Evaluation time!

So when difficulties come how do you respond? Do you get angry and look to run away? Do you blame your sufferings on God and others? Do you run away from God and shy away from Your faith? Do you fall into depression and drown in your sorrow? If you answered yes to any of those questions then you are not alone. It is a temptation of all of us to do the same. However, as people of faith we must respond differently. I challenge each of us to see our pains and sufferings not as misfortunes but as a test of faith! An opportunity to use our faith to see us through. Not a time to say why me, but to ask what now and where do we go from here! A moment not to question God's presence but to see where God is and reflecting on how God is calling you to act.

When God looks to us in the midst of our suffering, does He find an obedient, joyous, and faithful child awaiting His direction? Or does God encounter a disobedient, down trodden, unfaithful lost soul?

Strive as a child of God to grow in faith and have the courage despite the test to be an obedient, joyous and faithful child awaiting the counsel of our Lord!

Remember there is a TEST in every TESTimony!

Keep the faith! Keep going! Be not afraid!


  1. Love it Fr. Erik! A good one to ponder. Thank you!

  2. Hi Fr. Erik hope you are doing well.. This is so true...thanks for the inspiration.