I was hanging out with Ozzie (Oswald Chambers) yesterday, and he said to me, "No matter where God places us or what the inner desolations are, we can praise God that all is well. That is faith being worked out in actualities." Well, Ozzie and I debated for a little bit. I came right back... "Ozzie, you have no idea what kind of things I've been through. Moreover, you have no idea what sorts of things other people have gone through. How could you say to just have faith in situations that you know nothing about?"
"PC, you're an idiot. I wrote one of the most timeless devotionals ever written. I have thought on these things for a long long time."
"You're side-stepping my question, Ozzie."
"Fine! Are you prepared to let God do as He likes with [you]--prepared to be separated from conscious blessings?"
I began getting a bit frustrated with Ozzie. I asked whether he actually wanted me to believe that God would give me times of desolation and darkness--on purpose. He said, "Yes!" as though I were an idiot for asking. He said, "PC, it is not that we choose it, but that God engineers our circumstances so that we are brought there. Until we have been through that experience, our faith is bolstered up by feelings and by blessings."
Of course I did not completely understand. "What's wrong with feelings and blessings?"
"Pay attention, PC! I just said 'bolstered up by' feelings and blessings. Is your faith based only on blessings and feelings? Do you still have faith when neither of those are present? If not, then you don't have a very solid faith at all."
"Alright Ozzie! Let me get this straight. You're saying that God gives me times of desolation and difficult circumstances...my God of love does this to me, and I need to be PREPARED for these things so that I can still trust that all is well even when it doesn't FEEL like it is? I have to have faith that is not DEPENDANT on good feelings and blessings, and in fact remains if I have neither one of them?"
"YES! That's exactly what I am saying!"
"ALRIGHT! You don't have to yell at me."
Ozzie's always yelling at me.