Being the last month of the year, how do you evaluate how well your faith is doing? Do measure how many Sundays you went to church, Sunday School or small group? Do you measure your faith by how many good deeds you did? Or how much money you donated? Maybe just now you are thinking that you put money in the little red bucket so you are now a good person. But what Scripture tells us is that our faith is not measured by our works, but by the grace we’ve been given.
We understand God’s goodness to us not in what we do for Him, but what He has done for us. He has given us this marvelous salvation by grace through faith. Our faith is measured in our relationship to Him. His faithful love endures forever. Ours, well not so much.
So what I might ask is how well your faith has held up this year, through crisis, tragedy, highs and lows. Did you feel close to God during that job transition, or the loss of a loved one, or difficulty in family relationships. You find your church attendance means nothing when you are arguing with your wife. Your contribution to the kettle will mean nothing in the face of job loss. They may help measure your faithfulness and obedience, but the true test is whether you are still faithful when times are tough; when no one can see your pain. Who you are behind closed doors will determine how faithful you truly are.
Works will not save you, but they will offer some proof of your growth in Christ. But the real test of faith takes place when you suffer.
Will you still believe when it isn’t easy? God still believes in you. Never forget that. He doesn’t pull you out of the game until He’s ready.