When God would test our faith

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

REMEMBER that gospel episode where a Greek woman begged Christ to drive the demon out of her daughter? (cfr. Mk 7,24-30) That is one clear instance when God can test us to see if we really have faith in him or not. There’s always that possibility that when our initial petition is not granted, we would immediately get turned off and give God a cold shoulder. We have to be wary of this possibility.

As it turned out, when Christ at first told the woman not to bother him since he was not sent to people like her, using a rather derogatory expression of not giving the bread intended for the children to the dogs, the woman still insisted by saying, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” At this, Christ relented and granted the woman the favor she was requesting.

Yes, God can test our faith, and he wants our faith to get even stronger when we are faced with impossible predicaments in our life. We should not miss the chance to make our faith grow even more.

When are hounded by some persistent defects, weakness, temptations and sin, we should never lose sight of the fact, a happy truth of our faith, that there is always hope for us. St. Paul has reassured us that where sin has abounded, God’s grace has abounded even more. (cfr. Rom 5,20)

God never tires of forgiving us and of giving us more grace to make us grow spiritually, that is, to grow more in love for God and others. What we can do with the reality of the persistence of evil is to take advantage of it to get closer to God and others.

Yes, we may be always hounded by evil, temptations and sin, but let’s learn the art of converting them into occasions to go to God more closely. And that’s when, with God, we can manage to derive good from evil.

On our part, we just have to be humble enough to accept this fact of life, and more, to go to God to ask for forgiveness and help every time we are feel the sting of evil in all its forms. It is pure pride when we refuse to acknowledge this fact of life, and more so, when we refuse to go to God for forgiveness and help.

We cannot deny that evil, temptations and sin will always hound us. But let’s always remember Christ’s reassuring words to us: “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16,33)

God never loses battles, even if in our human standards, things may look like a loss or a defeat. But the victory of God in the end is supernatural that goes way beyond our human and natural standards.

And so on our part, if we are made to suffer not only for while but rather for a long while or even up to our own death, we should not worry, because if our faith is strong, if we continue to stick with God, the final victory is assured.

While God can give us the immediate relief or solution to our problems, it can happen that he grants us the favor after a long while, or even after our death. We should see to it that we continue to be with him by letting our faith grow even as we go through all the trials and sufferings in life.

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