Useful does not always mean user-friendly. You might likely have a difficult situation going on right now (a financial dilemma, family saga, marriage impasse, job uncertainty, health scare…). It’s hard to be ‘buoyed’ with confidence that it will resolve well. Yet, you can also probably recall another time that you were in another kind impossible moment. And - only in looking back - can you now see God’s faithfulness. While it’s not something we’d ever want to go through again, we can find confidence in the reality of God’s presence…and, just maybe, your faith has grown. Faith is not a magic genie lamp we rub to get our wish. However, having gone through it, you’re now more able to believe that God sees, cares, and is present.
Faith is useful as a basis for hope. It can become useful as a motivation to help others. It also is useful as an “internal compass”, which steadies and guides us in the midst of challenges. Many would dismiss the utility of faith. However, faith becomes increasingly useful when God is seen in the sequence of life.
Look back over the last 3, 5 and 10 years of your life. Consider your impossible moments. How’d you survive or get through it? Was it all you? Or, can you possibly see God’s provision and care? An unexpected opportunity? Help of a friend? A debt forgiven? A change of heart? A cure? Recovery? Just because we don’t see God in the moment doesn’t mean God is not there. Faith is useful just not always user-friendly.