I have a little surprise for all of you. This week the post is from a bright young man in our congregation, Yuri Weisberger. When I heard this message, I had to share it with all of you. If you like it, be sure to comment so we can encourage his writing gift.
What is faith? Well, according to the internet definition, faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Now what is faith in a biblical sense? Ibrim11:1 has this to say about faith…”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means that faith is trusting G-d for the outcome. Essentially, faith is knowing that everything is going to be okay even when you don’t know everything is going to be okay and sometimes something being okay doesn’t always mean that it’s okay with you. It’s confusing I know, but just wait.
You know who had a lot of faith? Yoseph. He just never gave up even when bad things got worse. It’s safe to say that a great amount of us rely heavily on our faith. But what happens when your faith lets you down? When something happens in not the way you think it should have happened even after you’ve constantly prayed for things to heal or be fixed? Yoseph is a great example of how to respond to such a thing. When Yoseph was sold into slavery by his own brother how did he respond? Though never directly stated, Joseph kept his faith in G-d no doubt. He continued to trust G-d regardless of the circumstances.
The narrator tells us that the Lord was with Yoseph and that Yoseph acknowledges him. Though there was never any conversation between Yoseph and G-d. In fact, in Bereshith chapter 39 in the second verse it says, “The Lord was with Yoseph, so he became successful” and his master found favor in him. So with that, Yoseph never lost hope, but he was very uncomfortable with his situation. Even through a trial of temptation with Potiphar’s wife, Yoseph stayed faithful to G-d. This is verbally expressed by Joseph in the same chapter. At the end of verse 9 Yoseph says “How then could I do this great evil and sin against G-d?” Now what about when Yoseph was framed by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into jail. You know, when things got even worse.
What changed in Yoseph then? Not a thing, he kept believing and eventually things get much better for him. Now what if Yoseph /had/ just given up? What would have resulted? Well I have complete faith that this darash would be talking about something very different.
You see faith is a powerful thing. It gives us someone to trust in and the power to keep going. It gives us something to believe in, something to fall back on, but I think that we take the concept of faith and try to make it something that it isn’t. How many times have you felt let down by your faith because you feel like your prayers weren’t heard, when nothing went the way you wanted, when someone passed that you don’t think should have? That is really faith in what you want to happen… but our faith is in G-d.
Truth is, G-d has a plan for all of us and we can’t change that plan nor can we change it for someone else. When we pray, we need to remember that while it’s okay to ask for our request, we need to remember that G-d will do what is right and good, His will. And that is where our faith lays. Faith means trusting G-d for the outcome. Why do we pray only when we want something? We should really take a second and think about how G-d might feel about the situation. While praying for what you want, remember to also pray for what G-d wants, pray for His will to be done. What good is it if we can just pray all our problems away? Pray for wisdom, understanding, guidance, patience, something that could help you in more ways than one.
Your faith is a power thing. Faith keeps us hopeful even when things seem hopeless. I’ll end off by reciting these two verses from Pilippiyim chapter 4 verses 6 and 7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to G-d. And the peace of G-d, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and you minds in Yeshua Messiah. Shabbat Shalom
Read in Beth Messiah Kislev 23 and used with permission.