God is not impressed by an individual that demonstrates inconsistent faith. The Good News Translation of Hebrews 11:6 states the following, “No one can please God without faith, for whoever comes to God must have faith that God exists and rewards those who seek him.”
Although this scripture doesn’t identify a specific type or amount of faith, circumstantial or “fair weather” faith does not bring God satisfaction. The word or term, fair weather can be described as being loyal only during a time of success. This immediately made me think about my Facebook timeline after a failed field goal attempt lead to a devastating loss for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The first ten to twenty posts expressed extreme disappointment in our field goal kicker, Chris Boswell. I’ll be the first to admit that the kicker didn't have his best season, but what if God treated us the same way during a bad season?
What if God considered releasing or trading you because you weren’t performing to your best potential?
What if God’s loyalty only existed when we were winning? Going into 2019, we cannot give up on ourselves or God after one bad “play” or one difficult season.
James tells us what divided loyalty or fair weather faith ultimately leads to..
“Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”
Not only should we not expect anything from God, we are more prone to living an unbalanced and unsteady life. Claiming that 2019 will be a year of success sounds empowering and encouraging, but we also have to look at things with a realistic perspective. Our greatest victories may come after suffering various losses or enduring a tough season. The last time I checked, you don’t have to be undefeated to win the Super Bowl.
So here’s the question I want to propose as we enter the new year...
Can you stay loyal to God during the difficult times or will you let your circumstances dictate your faithfulness?
Disconnect From Doubt
As we enter the new year, we cannot remain connected to doubt. If we take a honest moment, does it truly make sense to remain in a committed relationship with our fears and uncertainties?
Why do we serve the greatest God and expect mediocre results? This is the reason we should feed our faith more than our fears! The last time I checked, trusting our doubts never lead to our destiny!
I started off the year without a place to live. I watched my relationship go through a vicious cycle of “make up to break up”. I found myself as the target and topic of a verbal attack on the Internet.
In the midst of dealing with financial hardship, I had to unexpectedly purchase a new vehicle. While finding myself behind on my bills, my place of employment considered going in a different direction and relieving me of my position.
Despite encountering all of this adversity, I’m still standing tall and walking confidently in my purpose. This is the reason that Romans 8:28 has become my favorite scripture. The Message Translation of this scripture reads this way: “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
God reminded me that he has the ability to work EVERYTHING together for my good. Some may think God is only present when everything is going right, but his presence is also strong when everything seems to be going wrong! We don’t serve a God with “Fair Weather Faithfulness”.
He’s with us during our muddiest seasons as well as our miraculous ones!
God doesn’t throw in the towel when the odds are stacked against us. This is because he has the ability to shift the odds in our favor! My circumstances didn’t alter or change what God called me to do. My challenges confirmed my calling! This is exactly what Peter referred to in his letter.
The first part of 1 Peter 1:7 (New Living Translation) states the following, These trials will show that your faith is genuine”
Remaining steadfast during our trials demonstrate our readiness for the next level. God knows that we can’t take wavering or weak faith into our next season! To paraphrase what my pastor (Dr. William Curtis) mentioned during a recent sermon, “Big attacks, threats, and challenges mean I’m carrying big potential and possibilities”
Our potential and possibilities cannot be maintained with “Fair Weather” faith. If we remain connected to our doubts, we’ll find ourselves in the same position next year, claiming 2020 as our year!
Decision To Trust His Ability
Faith is more than a feeling, it’s a decision! The word faith can be defined as having COMPLETE trust or confidence in someone or something.
Faith and fear both require us to believe in something that we can’t see. So we are left with a decision, do I COMPLETELY trust God or my fears? Fair Weather Faith comes into play when we conditionally trust God. As long as God is doing what we want him to do, we trust and praise him.
Do we possess the same confidence in God when his timing is different than ours?
I recently listened to the lyrics of a Travis Greene song (Do It Again), and something interesting stuck out to me. In different parts of the song, Greene sings the following: “You never failed me yet”
Although the word, yet can be used to emphasize repetition, one could imply that God is going to fail us at some point. Some live with the anticipation that God is going to fail us or that he hasn’t “Yet”.
Fair Weather faith tells us “that was the last time” but genuine faith reminds us that God has the ability to show up again. Entering 2019, we have to stop expecting failure from a God that doesn’t fail! My mentality headed into the new year is that: If God got me through everything that I mentioned earlier, he can get me through ANYTHING!
As the Good News Translation of Hebrews 13:8 states, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and for ever.” God remains the same whether we are winning or going through the wilderness. Our faith has to do the same!
Drafted By God
If you are reading this, you were drafted and hand picked by God!
As you enter the new year, you have to commit to believing in yourself the same way God does and this has to be a complete commitment not a conditional one.
I could only imagine how it would feel being recruited by Michael Jordan to play basketball at the University of North Carolina. The greatest basketball player of all time feels I’m worthy of playing at his alma mater and one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
We should all have a similar or more ecstatic feeling, knowing that the greatest God in the world intentionally chose each of us! Despite what happened in 2018, God still believes we are deserving of a spot on his roster. God knows our worst and still sees the best in us!
Even as a kid from the projects with limited involvement in the church growing up, he still called me to minister to his people. He knows every flaw that we possess, and he still wants to use us to complete his plan! God doesn’t seek qualified people. He qualifies the people that he chose!
That’s the reason we have to disconnect from our doubts and stop replaying failed scenarios. They are holding us back from everything that we are destined for. God is perfect in ALL of his ways, and everything that he does is intentional. This means that he chose YOU on purpose!
2019 has to be the year that we shift from having fair weather faith to demonstrating unconditional faith! Our conditions can no longer dictate or determine the confidence we have in ourselves or God! Think about everything that you’ve encountered and withstood this year! You may be mentally, physically and emotionally sore but YOU SURVIVED!
The good news is that you weren’t fighting for survival alone. You just positioned yourself to receive everything that God has for you! Your endurance demonstrated why God chose you and your readiness for the next level!
The key to receiving everything that God has prepared for you is the level of your faith. Old confidence can't be carried into the new year, and your old faith can't be taken into the new season that's awaiting you!
New Year, New Faith!