By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. (Heb. 11:7; NIV)
The most difficult kind of faith is believing that everything will be alright, that God will reveal his goodness, when things are so bad at the moment. If you've ever been in a spot where you've lost your job and you're facing the prospect of not being able to cover food and either rent or a mortgage, you know what I mean. Jesus' promise that our heavenly Father knows about our needs isn't much comfort when you are afraid, in a panic, and wondering what will happen next.
If you've been in a spot where your husband or wife has left you for someone else, you also know what I mean. Desperately wanting to believe that it's a nightmare and you'll eventually wake up doesn't change the present reality and the pain, and the prospect that the person you thought you'd grow old with is not coming back.
In both of these examples, your security has been ripped away from you, and you are dealing with pain, worry, and an uncertain future. You are left with one hope that, at the moment, seems only barely possible. One prayer.
That God will take care of you and, in the end, give you much more than the thing you have lost, if you will simply trust and obey him.
I have been at low points, thinking, this is the worst thing I have ever gone through. Then a number of years later thinking, I was wrong, this is even worse. And on and on. Each time, I had the choice to trust God or try to manage my way through it on my own strength. To either put it in his hands or find another way to ease my pain and anxiety. If you go the latter route, you can end up in worse shape than when you started.
Noah—I don't have to say much about him because we all know the story. But imagine the laughing stock he was in his time. Building a huge barge, four stories tall, occupying the span of two football fields. He built it in the desert, 500 miles from sea, in a land that had never seen it rain—ever. He built it based on someone's promise, a word spoken to him. A word given to him by his God. That word was more real to him than the present reality, because the one who gave it to him was trustworthy.
Noah trusted God because God had proven himself, over and over. The same way he later proved himself to Abraham, over and over. Each challenge in life, each step of faith, revealed more of God's love and faithfulness. If you trust him, the next time things go wrong, it is easier to believe that he will come through. Eventually, you are a person of faith, like the people described in Hebrews 11.
God has never let me down. Not one time. The most important thing I can do, when my world is crumbling, is to look back at all the times he was faithful. The way he brought me through some of these times was difficult, but in the end, he was there, waiting for me. He was the light in the darkness (Isa 42:16). All I had to do was continue walking toward him and not look back.
Follow his example. In the end, you, like Noah, will become an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. God will not let you down. On the day that all this world offers is gone, he will be there waiting for you.