by Scarlett Stough
When I was young I loved to walk the country roads near my home. As an adult my husband and I would go on hikes, sometimes with back packs and camping overnight. Resting at night was truly welcome and as simple as camp food was, it was always delicious. We enjoyed the nature around us and each other's company. We were never afraid. I’m not sure that would be the case today with all the tragedies we've heard about over the past 55 years since those days. We took our safety for granted. We had “faith” in our strength, our preparations and even in our fellow man in a way we do not have today.
Nearing 80 years of age, we have learned physical strength is not enough; preparation is not enough; and many people cannot be trusted. Only one faith has endured over these years; only one Faithful Friend has proved constant—our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ with the guidance of his Spirit and his word.
Jesus warned us that trouble is a part of this life's experience:
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer—take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted—for I have overcome the world.—I have deprived it of power to harm, have conquered it [for you].
John 16:33 AMP
The pandemic of 2020 has put the entire world in danger. There are other dangers in this world; death stalks us all. For those who put their faith in God death, eternal death, no longer needs to be feared:
For we walk by faith [that is, we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance. [Yes] we have confident and hopeful courage, and are well-pleased rather to be away from home out of the body and be at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him], or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be well-pleasing to Him.
2 Corinthians 5:7-9 AMP
We look around us and see danger, death, grief, violence, hatred, disease, wars, domestic abuse, political and religious divisions. If we live our lives by sight, we have only fear to guide us; we have only our own meager preparations and strength to rely on.
On the other hand, we also see people doing good, doing kind things for others, and helping to ease the suffering around them. Of all people, the helpers recognize their own limitations since they too are subject to the same troubles. Whenever we see their love and goodness, we are seeing God's love and goodness whether the helping people believe in him or not. The only faith that is constant is that in the faithfulness of God who has the power and authority to intercede for those who ask in humility, submitting to his will, whether in life or in death, or in good times or in bad—like Habakkuk who was lamenting the trouble on his own people:
Though the fig tree does not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines; [though] the product of the olive fail and the fields yield no food; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls;
Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 AMP
This prophet describes what the walk by faith and not by sight is when what our eyes see are only troubles, but we have faith in our faithful God (Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 4:12-13).
Editor’s Note: Amplified version used was published in 1965 by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids Michigan