The thing about trials is, they come unannounced.
One day, you’re eating carry-out pizza and saying goodnight like you have on a thousand other nights and the next, waking up to the final labored breaths of your husband.
Or three days into the new year, you open your laptop with great enthusiasm to start that new project pressing on your heart, when your college boy walks in from work complaining of a low backache that gets so bad so quickly he can’t walk into the ER. The MRI you thought might show a herniated disc? Instead reveals a lemon-sized tumor on his spine that has hemorrhaged.
None of us plan for these kinds of trials.
No one calendars the middle of the night phone call or the unexpected diagnosis or the unforeseen announcement at work.
The hardest trials usually careen into the most ordinary of days.
It’s in those moments when life tilts way off center or shatters altogether, that we need emergency withdrawals from our faith bank.
Our faith bank is a reservoir of trust and belief that we fill over months and years of walking with God. We usually don’t even realize we’re making daily deposits until we need to make a withdrawal.
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This isn’t saving faith; this is sustaining faith. It’s a repository we draw from in the long unanswered wait or in the unforeseen hard.
There are many ways to fill up our faith bank.
We make deposits when we read and study and apply God’s Word.
Bible study is a discipline – an uncomfortable word for this type-B girl. But it IS a discipline to intentionally carve out time for the Word and then guard it with our life.
Getting into God’s word may seem like a small deposit, but after days and months and years, God’s word permeates our thinking, our understanding of who God is and how he deals with us.
We see over and over again God’s character, his promises and his faithfulness. We come to know the trials and triumphs of Joseph and Joshua, the simple trust of Ruth and Mary, the giant faith steps of David and Paul, the brave scared of Abigail and Gideon.
While God so often speaks to our immediate need when we’re in the Word, he also gives us an advance – something we’ll desperately need down the road.
We make deposits in our faith bank as we regularly sit under godly teaching. That’s why we can’t just go to church when we feel it. That Sunday sermon may be a vital withdrawal we take out years later.
I’m forever grateful for a pastor who scrapped his planned sermon to teach us why bad thing happen to godly people. Bad things weren’t happening to me, but a couple in church had lost their second baby. I began to form a theology of suffering that day, deep beliefs that held me when our own hard happened.
Memorizing scripture is a deposit in our faith bank – one of the richest, deepest ways to anchor our faith.
I’m an accidental memorizer. I wanted my kids to memorize, so we began together. But that daily drip of internalizing chunks and chapters became part of me and when life shattered, those verses rushed back.
I understood there were no untimely deaths in God’s sovereignty, only unforeseen deaths because Psalm 139 had been a tape replayed in my thoughts for years. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
I knew God was good and would bring good even in our suffering because he promised, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
I trusted God was sufficient to carry each of us through this unwanted loss and into an unknown future because God’s word had been engraved on my soul: “Love never fails.”
Our walk with God today will affect the faith we need tomorrow.
While it’s never too late to fill up our faith bank, the deepest repositories are those filled in the everyday ordinary of walking and worshipping God.
The cha-ching in your faith bank today creates a repository when you need an emergency withdrawal later.
What cha-ching are you putting in your faith bank today? What discipline have you carved out time for? Will the things you choose to do today deepen your reserves?
This I know: not one deposit we make in our faith bank will go unused. Whichever way God takes us, the deepest, most wealthy faith bank will never go wasted.
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