Though Trials, God Calls Us to a Deeper Faith
After the Transfiguration, Jesus told Peter, James, and John not to speak of the event until after He had risen from the dead. “So the Apostles kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.” It is clear that the Apostles did not understand the meaning of the Transfiguration, nor did they understand the meaning of Jesus’ impending death. In fact, although they witnessed Jesus perform many miracles; listened to Him teach; and experienced His forgiveness, the Apostles still did not understand what everything meant… until the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost.
Like the Apostles, Abraham was also tested by God, Who asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. From a human point of view, Abraham could have lost his faith and questioned why God would give him a son only to take him away. Abraham could have questioned God’s promise that Abraham would be the father of many nations: for, how could Abraham be the father of many nations if he were to kill his only descendant? Yet, Abraham did not question God and was ready to do whatever God asked of him, even if it meant losing his only child.
We might ask: Were these trials of faith in the lives of the Apostles and Abraham truly necessary? They were. God had to test Abraham and the Apostles in order to reveal what was really in their hearts; to purify their faith, intentions, and motivations; and to build their trust in Him. It is the same with us: in our own lives we often experience different trials. At times we are unable to understand what God is doing.
Sometimes we might feel like we are in the dark, like the entire world is falling in on us, like there is little or no hope. Yet, during these trials and times of difficulty God calls us to have deeper faith and trust in Him. And our response reveals the truth about what lies within each of our hearts.
I would like to invite you to ask yourselves:
- What does my faith in God look like?
- Do I fully trust in God and His love?
As you think about your responses to these questions, please keep in mind that God is Love. He never ceases to love us, even when we do not understand His ways and even when we discover that our intentions and motives are not pure. For, it is precisely in these situations that we have the greatest potential to give God room to help and guide us.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the Second Sunday of Lent: Lectionary 26
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