Facing Difficult Facts with Faith
“Without weakening in his faith, [Abraham] faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God …” Romans 4:19-20 (NIV)
A sad voice pipes up from the back of my minivan: “Mommy, we are villagers.”
“Villagers? What do you mean?” My eyes dart to the rearview mirror, finding my 5-year-old’s reflection blinking back at me. Her silver princess dress and bejeweled tiara glint in the sun, but her somber brown eyes lack their usual gleam.
“We are villagers because we are normal persons, not princesses.” She heaves a heart-weary sigh, a sigh that suggests her five years of life have begun to feel like 95.
“Oh, sweetie,” I say, with a pang of understanding. It seems my daughter has finally pieced together some disappointing big-girl facts: Wait a second — Mommy’s not a queen, and we don’t live in a castle. This I’m-a-princess thing is just pretend.
My inner mama bear roars to life, fearing this realization could be soul-crushing for my would-be princess. I plumb the depths of my maternal wisdom, spouting a frantic stream of optimistic, even godly, ways to view this truth: “We are all special to God! It’s fun to dress fancy, but it’s what inside that matters …” But my daughter’s woeful expression tells me she’s still bummed.
Honestly, I feel her pain. I’ve faced plenty of unpleasant revelations that have knocked me off my own royal throne:
My bank account balance is what? Uhhh …
That friendship may never be the same.
This diagnosis isn’t what we prayed for.
We all have to acknowledge painful truths sometimes. And we’re not alone — many of our Bible heroes had to do the same.
I love the way Scripture describes Abraham’s attitude after decades of childlessness: “Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God …” (Romans 4:19-20).
Abraham faced the facts, but he faced them with faith. Abraham wasn’t naive — even in the days of all-organic food and zero air pollution, people weren’t usually throwing baby showers for 100-year-old parents-to-be. But Abraham was confident in God’s plan and promise.
Abraham’s situation was unique in that he had received a personal promise directly from God. (Genesis 15:4) Unlike Abraham, you and I may not get a sneak peek into God’s specific plans for our futures, but even so, we have a loving Father in whom we can place full trust. Like Abraham, we have reasons to face even the bleakest facts with faith.
This doesn’t mean we are guaranteed deliverance from every hard thing. Facing facts with faith means we are confident that, no matter the outcome, God loves us and He is working. It means we bring two transformative words to every situation: But God.
It might sound something like this:
Money is tight, but God cares about my needs. He can provide, and He doesn’t want me to worry. (Matthew 6:25-34)
The diagnosis is scary, but God sees me. He is able to heal — but even if He does not, He is near, comforting and strengthening me. (Psalm 34:17-18)
This situation seems devastating, but God can redeem anything. (Psalm 30:1-5)
But God cares. But God sees. But God can. Now those are three facts worth pondering! Facts that help us face difficult situations with a faith like Abraham’s — a faith that honors God, daring to hope, and believes that no matter what the outcome is, God is still good.
Father, thank You for loving me. Please help me to see Your hand at work even in difficult situations so I can face them with courage and faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Elizabeth Laing Thompson’s book When God Says “Wait” helps you navigate confusing delays with a faithful perspective. Get your copy here!
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (NIV)
What scriptures and truths help you face difficult facts with a faithful perspective? Share your thoughts in the comments.
© 2022 by Elizabeth Laing Thompson. All rights reserved.