The Triumph of Faith
Originally published in Issue 67 of Calvary Chapel Magazine
“For I know that my Redeemer lives.” Job 19:25a
A lot of things happen in life that we cannot and will not understand. Why the problems? Why the suffering? We seek to find answers, but many times we simply cannot know. The good news is we can hold on to the One whom we do know.
God’s Nearness in Suffering
I would like to recount one of the most remarkable spiritual experiences of my life. My mother lived with us during her final days as she lay dying with cancer. I would sit at her bedside and talk and pray with her. She was a gift of God to me, and I loved her deeply. Cancer is a terrifying diagnosis, and its power is unfathomable. As I watched it reduce my healthy, vibrant mother to a shell, I felt both awed and overwhelmed by its ability to destroy.
One morning I sat at the end of her bed, weeping inside. I knew she was suffering. I prayed to God, “Would You just take her pain and put it on me, Lord? Let me bear it for today that she would have one day of relief from this pain.” Immediately, I felt the presence of Jesus beside me and sensed Him saying that it was a foolish request because He bore the suffering for her. “Oh Lord,” I said, “how true. Forgive me.”
I realized, what are a few malignant cells compared to the supremacy of Jesus, the Creator of the universe? My focus shifted from the power of cancer to the authority of Jesus—and I realized cancer had no power against Him at all. In that moment, I witnessed the power of Jesus Christ. At that very instant, my mother suddenly said, “Oh, the pain is gone!” God had touched her. And from that time on, she never suffered any more pain.
I silently prayed again: “Lord, she is Yours. I thank You that I have been blessed by her life. But I’m not going to hang on to her. Though it’s going to hurt like everything, Lord, she belongs to You, and if You want to take her, that’s fine. But, Lord, not with pain—not with suffering.” The Lord took her home shortly thereafter. We willingly released her because she had always belonged to Him anyhow. She was just on loan to us.
I’ve never felt closer to Jesus. I knew He was standing right beside me as He spoke to me that day. The experience came at an extreme point where I knew I had come to my own limitations. I reached out because I felt desperate, and the Lord was there to help and to give me victory. Whatever we face, we need to remember to focus on Him and on His power, not upon the problem. That’s how we lay hold of the triumph of faith.
Whatever we face, we need to remember to focus on Him and on His power, not upon the problem. That’s how we lay hold of the triumph of faith.
I Know My Redeemer Lives
Secondary to Jesus, who suffered more than we can ever comprehend, perhaps Job had the roughest time. He had lost nearly everything he had—his possessions, his children, his health, his reputation—and he couldn’t figure out why it all happened.
His friends gave him no help. They insisted that Job must have sinned to deserve such pain. No man would suffer as Job had, they said, unless he had done some violent thing against God, either in his heart or overtly. The fact that Job protested his innocence only increased his guilt in their eyes. Nevertheless, Job continued to maintain his innocence, and then he began to describe his misery. No one stood with him. First his friends forsook him, then his own family.
Still, in the midst of his deep despair, Job made a tremendous declaration of faith. Listen to his amazing confession:
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job 19:25-27a
Cling to Your God
Job did not know why he had been stripped of everything, suffering miserably and enduring excruciating pain. All this troubled him profoundly: Why has God allowed me to lose all of my possessions, my children, and my reputation? Why has God allowed me to lose my own health and to go through all of these miseries?
In the middle of describing his misery, however, he stops and says, “But this is what I do know: My Redeemer lives.”
There are times when we find ourselves asking, Why am I suffering? Why am I in this pain? When I try to comfort someone in pain, I don’t say, “Well, maybe it’s because of this or that.” I often just confess, “We don’t know why these things happen. But we do know what is important.”
And what is most important? Your Redeemer lives; He is with you. Never let go of what you do know because of something you don’t know. Or as some say, “Don’t doubt in the dark what you know in the light.”
Job held tightly to what he did know: “I know that my Redeemer lives.” And in that great statement of faith, he came to experience the triumph of faith.
All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version.
© 2020 Calvary Chapel Magazine. All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.