As a person is told they have 30 Days to Live, they face a trial few living today can identify with. It would be the ultimate testing of one’s faith, facing eternity. How we endure a trial like this ultimately clears up any questions about whether our faith is real or not.
This Mother’s Day was a difficult one. It was the first Mother’s Day without my mom (see Facing Forever) and we went to see my mother-in-law who is in the hospital losing her battle with cancer. What happens to your faith when real trials come? My mother-in-law, while always having been a religious person, has turned to reading the Bible daily and praying more. Is she afraid? Sure, but her faith has increased through this trial and she is actually being brought closer to God through it.
My wife and I are asking God for a miracle for her mother, but if one doesn’t come, our faith will not be shaken. Why? Because we trust in God’s word that when a love one faces 30 Days to Live, the Lord is there.
Even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
Our faith is not real if it cracks in a trial. Good time faith isn’t really faith at all. Even death can’t separate real faith from the believer. Death is just another trial to endure and conquer.
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and He never tempts anyone else. – James 1:12-14
No one sells books on “patient endurance” and it wouldn’t be a most popular sermon download on YouTube but it’s a key to God’s plan. When we close our eyes on this planet for a final time, the crown of eternal life is given to those who have endured through their trial and still have faith in Christ in the end.
The last words I ever spoke to my father as he laid dying in a hospital bed were “Keep the faith.” and those are my last words to you today. Even if the trial you face is death itself, keep the faith.
Dear Jesus, help me to remember that no matter what the trial is, you haven’t left me. Help to remember also that you didn’t send me this trail but you will bring good things out of it, even if the trial is death. I will patiently endure all hardship because I know you will carry me through it. I love you. Amen.
- Have I lost faith during past trials?
- If I were to face the death of a loved one would I blame God?
- Pray this week for those whom you know are in trails that they may not lose faith.
___________________________________________________Written May 2010: prayers for Fran and our family gratefully accepted.