I think sometimes we equate faith with extreme circumstances, like saying; “Yes, I believe in God” when a gun is pointed at our head, or uprooting our family to move to the Middle East because we heard the call of God. In other words we see faith as the fuel that helps people to do difficult and courageous tasks for God. In the process we have forgotten the reality that without faith we cannot follow Jesus, even when the circumstances in our lives are easy.
Extreme stories of faith may motivate us for a moment and we may wonder if we would have the type of faith that follows God into the unknown, but many times those stories don’t have a lasting impact on our lives. These stories also start us believing that faith is only for those extreme moments in our lives.
In reality, it is by living by faith through the small details of life that God prepares us for the more difficult and trying times in our lives. The trials of life don’t produce faith, rather they expose and refine our faith. The apostle Peter wrote:
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7; ESV)
So many of us want God to use us to make a difference in this world, and we patiently wait for God to bring us our big opportunity. I think we need to ask ourselves this question: “What makes me prepared for that big assignment?” The bottom line is if we want God to use us to make a difference in this world then we need to first trust Him with the everyday issues of life. We need to trust God’s judgment on the movies we watch. We need to trust God with the amount of money we give. We need to trust God as we vocalize our beliefs. Every day we are given opportunities to demonstrate our faith in God, and too often we ignore these opportunities so we can do our own thing instead.
To be a light in a dark world does not require us to be judgmental, political, or fanatical, but it does require us to live by faith each and everyday. It is by trusting God in the small things that we learn to trust Him in the big things of life. It is also through the small things of life that God prepares us for tomorrow’s faith testing challenges. In other words our small acts of obedience today are like practice, preparing us for the big game tomorrow.
Erwin McManus wrote; “God loves to use our faithfulness to inspire the faith of others” (Seizing Your Divine Moment; p. 216). Another reason why living by faith in all areas of life is so important is that it provides many windows for others to witness faith in action. It is one thing to hear about Jesus and be challenged to put your faith in Him, but it is another thing to see how faith makes a difference in the life of a person already following Jesus. Being faithful in the small things just might inspire someone else to trust Jesus with their entire life. When we live by faith it isn’t about accomplishing great things for God, rather it is about allowing God to use our life right where we are.