Ministry Resources

Excitement versus Tested Faith

Author: Dr. Craig Keener

Moses and Aaron gathered the elders of the people, who would have at least heard of Moses, the Hebrew who had been adopted by an Egyptian but ultimately sided with the Hebrews. The elders presumably then gathered the people (4:29-30).

When the people heard the long-for message of liberation and saw the signs, they believed (4:30-31), so grateful to discover that YHWH had seen their suffering and had determined to act (4:31). But this is what many interpreters of John’s Gospel call preliminary “signs-faith.” Certainly they believe now; but when hardship increases and their faith is tested, they will complain against Moses and Aaron for misleading them (5:20-21). And Moses—also not yet a model of great faith—will ask YWHW why he had misled Moses (5:22-23).

It’s often easy to trust God and his plan when initial signs kindle our hopes. But hardship often crushes such hope, and our elementary faith is revealed for what it really is. Sometimes when we are tested we tend to yearn for our pre-tested level of faith. But it is faith that has endured testing that is truly mature faith. Testing offers us opportunities to mature in our relationship with God, uncomfortable as the growing pains are. Sometimes just clinging to God for dear life in the midst of testing is a greater demonstration of faith than our apparent faith when everything is going well!

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