by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

Failing to Heal (29 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part Two
Christopher B. Harbin
Philippians 4:10-20

All too often we are called to wonder whether the faith we proclaim is worth it, whether it is worth defending and hanging onto. We may feel greatly assured by faith at times, but there are also times we question the validity of our faith. Where is God amid those times when things do not go as they ought? How do we understand the purpose of trusting God, when we are not assured that the circumstances of life will play out well? How do we respond when God does not answer our prayers in the manner we would like? How do we hold onto our faith when all seems lost or even pointless?

There are many stories in the Bible that point to God's power and authority to intervene in the midst of human tragedies. We read of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Elijah, Samuel, David, Paul, Peter, and many others. Then we see Saul seeking God's attention to no avail. We find David crying over an infant who will not be restored to health. We grieve with Jeremiah as the nation is carted off into exile. We watch Daniel being taken away from his homeland, even though he is one of those ultimate examples of faithfulness to Yahweh. We read of Paul's sufferings and Jesus' journey to the cross. We try to make sense of it all, and often enough we find ourselves at a loss to answer some of those nagging questions. We are left like Job at the end of his story, uncertain how to proceed and none the wiser.

Paul's own life is a story of struggles with faith that led to much pain and suffering. It was from prison that Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians. Paul had completed the majority of his ministry as we know of it in Acts and was en route to Rome to present his defense before Nero, pleading for his own life. If anyone had a reason to doubt the validity of his faith, Paul was among them. He had served Christ with acclaim, but had mostly scars to show for his troubles. With this lette ...

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