I have faith that I will be healed. I have faith that I will be quickly delivered through my trial. I have faith that I will not lose my loved one. I have faith that whatever comes my way will surely pass.
It is great and wonderful, even easy at times, to have faith that things will go the way you want them to. You know that the Lord is very capable of it, so you have faith that it will go that way. You have hope in, and faith in a better circumstance.
But faith is more than that. As hard as it can be to have faith in trials, complete faith is the ‘if not’. I have faith that I will be healed, but if not, I will continue to trust in my Lord. I have faith that my trials will pass, but if not, I have faith that the Lord will be there to succor me. This is having faith when things don’t quite go as planned.
This is what Dennis E. Simmons taught in April of 2004 in his talk entitled, “But if Not…”.
The Lord could have delivered you. Perhaps you did not have to lose your loved one. But you did. You do not understand and you do not know why the Lord would allow such a terrible thing to happen, but you do understand that life is a test. And sometimes what happens is not only a result of God’s will, but of the actions of those around you.
Simmons said, “The Lord has given us agency, the right and the responsibility to decide. He tests us by allowing us to be challenged. He assures us that He will not suffer us to be tempted beyond our ability to withstand. But we must understand that great challenges make great men. We don’t seek tribulation, but if we respond in faith, the Lord strengthens us. The but if nots can become remarkable blessings.”
However, “remarkable blessings” can seem way out of sight when trials and troubles are hurtling towards us. The ‘if nots’ are supposed to strengthen us, but there are days, sometimes many, that feel as if we are being blown over. We are weak. And our faith can diminish.
But that test, that terrible and heartbreaking moment, is just when we need to have faith. That is just when we cannot, and should not turn from our faith. For if we do that, we are turning away from the very Being who can give us light in darkness. Perhaps the blessings Simmons spoke of include the relief and light that having faith can bring.
It is true that for many, a bad ending can seem like a failure of God’s power. It may be so easy to blame Him and to cast away faith. We shout that He failed us and He ruined us, but it is also He who offers to carry us in these times. So do not let your faith go. Do not blame Him and cast away faith.
Lay your burdens upon the Lord. As hard as it may be, even in the ‘if nots’, He can still help to lighten our burden. For when troubles come our way, that is when it is hardest to have faith, but when faith is most needed.
Simmons said, “Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does. Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him.”
So, yes, let’s have hope and faith that things will be smooth in the journey, but more so, let us have faith that when the path is bumpy, we will not turn away from He who succors us. As much as all of us would love for things to always go well, they don’t. We have to be honest with that and accept that even if we are unaware of why things are happening, He is, and we can rely on Him.
Have faith, even when things don’t go as planned.
As 2 Nephi 24:23 says, “For we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”