A lot of people have an if/then kind of faith. It goes something like this:
If God allows me to experience the fullness of the American dream, then I’ll keep believing.
If God grants me a spouse and children, then I’ll keep believing.
If God sees to it that my children follow in my footsteps and my faith and never disappoint me, then I’ll keep believing.
If God blesses me financially and lets me live comfortably, then I’ll keep believing.
That’s probably what most American Christians believe, although few would be brave enough to confess it.
This is biblical faith:
I will keep believing, no matter what.
If I never get married and have children, I’ll keep believing.
If I never get to where I can live comfortably, I’ll keep believing.
Even if I watch as each of my dreams die, even if God never does one solitary thing more for me beside saving me and granting me this life abundant, I’ll keep believing for as long as He grants me life.
The prophet Habakkuk put it this way:
“Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God” (Hab. 3:17-18).
If/then faith says that you need more than God, that He isn’t sufficient in and of Himself. It might work for a while, but it eventually falters when the hard times come.
No matter what faith says that God alone is, has been, and will always be enough. It keeps believing, keeps hoping, keeps trusting through any and every circumstance (much like what Paul talked about in 1 Corinthians 13). That kind of faith not only lasts, but it keeps you going.
I choose to believe no matter what.