A quote I put in my sermon notes this week got me thinking. It’s a T.D. Jakes quote that says, “Faith must always pass the test of discouragement.”
Many people come to Jesus believing, because at times they are told, “Come to Jesus and life will be perfect.” But it’s not true. The world is still full of sin, death still happens, pain still exists. There is no such promise found in the Bible. But the true test of a Christian happens when things fall apart. Will we chose to trust God through the mess, or give up and run away from Him?
This was such a moment for David. David is sold out by the Ziphites and they lead Saul right to him. And Saul gets so close that David is just on the other side of a mountain, about to be overrun when Saul gets word that the Philistines are attacking Israel. You see, Saul took his army to wage war on David, and left the land he is called to protect exposed. This was God coming through to protect his chosen King in David. Saul got close, but he still couldn’t touch the one he wanted dead.
But in this moment, David could have been discouraged. I would probably think in a moment like this, “If this is what needs to happen so I can be king, it’s not worth it. I give up God. Give it to someone else.” But if I were to act upon it, I would allow the discouragement to overwhelm my faith. I would be trusting in my own thoughts more than God’s promise for my life.
And so, when you receive a promise from God, He’s not going to remove all the obstacles. He’s not going to make it easy on you. He will make you successful, but to be successful, you will need to push aside the doubt and double down in your trust of Him. He wants you first and foremost to rely on Him, to have a relationship with Him, to know and understand that He is leading the way, and you are just the vessel is sharing His story and His love to the world.
So don’t give up. Even when things look bleak. Even when things don’t seem like they’re going the way you expected. Keep fighting. Keep going. Believe the promise God has given you. Walk through the valleys in faith, so God can bring you to the mountaintop in triumph.