Forecasting the faith
We all understand the concept of weather forecasting, which is a prediction meteorologists make about what the weather will be on the basis of correlated atmospheric observations. They study and analyze all available pertinent data and make an educated guess about what is most likely to occur.
This month, I would like to share a word of encouragement—not about weather forecasting, but rather “faith forecasting” and two different types of faith.
Fair weather faith
This faith is strong when the sky is blue, the clouds are fleecy, and the sun is brightly shining. Under these balmy conditions, there is barely any need for faith at all. Everything is going according to plan—your plan. It is smooth sailing out on the calm seas of your self-interest. You are in hot pursuit of your dreams, your goals, your desires and your agenda.
The person possessing fair-weather faith is usually a fair-weather friend, as well. They are friends only when things are going well. They are plugged in to the pleasant. They walk by sight, and as long as they are happy about what they see, they keep walking alongside you. And, of course, walking by sight removes any need for walking by faith. But this is not for you!
Foul weather faith
This faith is strong when the sky is blue, the clouds are fleecy, and the sun is brightly shining . . . and it is strong in the middle of the raging storm. This faith can deal with whatever hand is dealt because it trusts the Holy Hand that deals it. Foul-weather faith trusts God even when it cannot trace Him. It is a faith that advances through affliction because this faith knows the truth of God’s Word.
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
Fair-weather faith cannot see the Holy Hand behind the painful providence, but foul-weather sees it and welcomes it. Walking through the storm is making this person to be more than a conqueror. Foul-weather faith sees adversity as the means for advancing in Divine Grace to higher ground where the vision is clearer and closer to God’s point of view. It is the faith of Abraham when asked to offer his son Isaac on the altar. It is the faith of Zacchaeus when asked by Jesus to come down from the tree. It is the faith of the prostitute who entered the Pharisee’s home in the face of condemnation and anointed Jesus with oil.
What kind of faith have you been demonstrating lately? How would those closest to you answer this question? When we take our eyes off of our circumstances and fix them on Jesus, he will give us all the faith we need to weather any storm we are facing. Not only that, we can be assured that Jesus is in the middle of the storm with us.
In Matthew 8:23-27 we read, ‘Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”’
Not only was Jesus with His disciples in the middle of a furious and raging storm that came up suddenly on the lake, he was fast asleep in it. That is instructive to us today. Storms do not unsettle our Savior. Our Savior is not surprised by storms. They are simply the backdrop for his glory to shine forth and his power to be magnified. Make no mistake, Jesus is no fair-weather friend. He is with us is the storm and in the sunshine. When he said he would never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), he meant what he said!
This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!
Tommy Boland is the Senior Pastor of Cross Community Church in Deerfield Beach. Worship services are held on Saturdays at 6pm and Sundays at 10:30am., at 841 S.E 2nd Ct., Deerfield Beach. Check us out at: thecrosscc.org. For more articles by Dr. Tommy Boland, visit goodnewsfl.org/tommy-boland.