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Would we stick to our faith in trying times?

Putting our faith to the test

sermon on theophany

We are all connected. Moreover, we are in the same boat, we all have the same helmsman who is setting the course, and we will get to our destination safely if we all stay on board. There will be storms and gales, but the Lord knows where to steer, and if anyone escapes, it will be only rats.

Seek the kingdom of Heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6: 33). We have been praying and asking God for something, but the result is different from what we had expected. And so, doubts are gnawing us; suspicion is creeping in. Could God have ignored us? Did he hear us at all? What else would have caused Him not to answer our pleas? At these very moments, our faith comes to the test. The kingdom of God lives within us as long as we stay connected to Him. We must work hard to keep this relationship and strengthen it. We might lose sight of him at times, but then we will at least know the direction and keep going.

When all is going well, it is simple to follow God with enthusiasm, just as it is easy to celebrate our successes. However, when difficulties and sorrows come, our determination may dwindle.

Yet all of us who participate in church life can find inspiration in the saints and in our prayers. Reading the book of Job, we are struck by the exceptional trials and sorrows that befell the lot of this holy man. It is not the task of God to make us happy at this very moment, but to teach our souls to live according to His love, eschew sin and all things finite and perishable, and lead us to eternal salvation.

We are used to thinking in purely human terms, while God's plan for us is to see us grow and advance and become a party to a new life in God while still on this earth.

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

January 20, 2023
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