I hope you have been enjoying our Temptation Series and though I had planned to be writing about “Avoiding the Consequences of Gluttony,” the Lord redirected me to write about today’s topic. I have never heard of the expression of “Fair Weather Faith,” but the title came to me in perfect clarity. I have heard of Fair-Weather Friends and Fair-Weather Fans. Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “fair-weather” as being:
“loyal or helpful only during times of success and happiness.”
We all have had people in our lives that seemed like they would be there through thick and thin but only to disappear once you needed them the most. Proverbs 17:17 (ESV) describes the type of friends we believed those people to have been:
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
In the post ★ Thought for the Day – Community That Matters ★ we talked a lot about the importance of fostering Biblical Community through “Fight Clubs” and how true friends are developed as a result. If you missed it, I highly recommended catching up.
As for the second “Fair-Weather” term’…In 2010 the Texas Rangers broke an 11 year playoff drought when they made it to the coveted series; it was amazing how all of a sudden there was a huge outpouring of fandom with the ‘claw’ and ‘antlers,’ along with Josh Hamilton jerseys that popped up everywhere you looked. To me, it was the truest example of Fair-Weather Fans because before that season I lived in Texas for 3 years with virtually no mention of the Arlington based team. Based on those two examples you could see where this post will be going. When I googled “Fair-Weather Faith” I discovered that there is a song with the exact title from the rock band Extreme and then I also this comic that really makes the point perfectly!
“Fair-Weather Faith” exists only during times of success and happiness. People with this milquetoast approach to faith will serve God when life is good, but once times get tough, it dissipates as quickly as the morning dew. In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus warned about those who had faith like this (see Luke 8:4-15).
“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
That is some strong words from Jesus but remember that He is the savior of the world so we best heed His advice.
As I was talking about this Thought with my family, my 16-year-old daughter made this great statement which I will pose to you:
This is a question we all must ask ourselves and come to terms with BEFORE the Storms of Life roll in…The muse for this Thought came last Saturday when I was texting a friend of mine to try to encourage him because he was over a 1,000 miles away from home at the Cancer Center of America. And His response rocked me to the core!
“I’m just getting out of bed. It’s 8:30 here. I’m in either day 3 or 4 of my first cycle. I think it’s the 3rd, but today’s nurses are saying 4th. I mean what do I know – except the one who’s been getting to actually see the changeover from one bag to another
But throughout the round of chemo, I’ve felt incredibly well. God’s grace has been amazing. He really is a good, good Father.
Day by day, His grace sustains me and He continuously shows me that He is still God and that He still heals.
I’ve committed to live out this journey in stewardship of whatever He desires. There will be a story to tell that I believe will touch lives.
I’ve been walking everyday around the hallways and just praying for everyone I see in a room.”
WOW! As I read these texts from my friend Avito I was absolutely blown away from his extreme faith. He is battling a rare type of cancer: a primary mediastinal b-cell lymphoma. I am no doctor, but once you hear the word ‘cancer,’ fear and trepidation grips your heart and once you add “rare” on top of that, I would imagine that an emotional paralysis of sort would follow. I am uncertain how I would react to such a diagnosis. When you read those words above, it is clear that Avito has truly leaned on his faith in God almighty, the creator of Heaven and Earth. He’s fought a brave fight against the cancer and recently decided to pursue an integrative cancer treatment that incorporates a naturopathic element with the conventional methods to treating the lymphoma. If you were to ask him why he can stare at this challenge with such a sense of peace, Avito would calmly but with much faith tell you,
“How can you not when you get a diagnosis, and immediately then be assured with a Holy Spirit whisper that says more loudly, ‘This sickness is not onto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified in it.’”
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.”
Will you trust God when a diagnosis of cancer is pronounced, or the loss of a child unexpectantly happens? Or if you are laid off from your job or bankruptcy is filled. Where will your faith be at those times? When the rubber meets the road, you (and me too) need to:
“Let Your Faith Speak so loud your heart can’t hear what doubt is saying.”
Doubt is a powerful force, one that Satan continually uses against us. Since the beginning of time, he has been filling our minds with thoughts that God has failed or abandoned us, that the circumstance or diagnosis we are facing is impossible but that just is not so!
God is sovereign and in control and it is precisely at those moments of greatest trial that we need to hold fast to the Lord. In the post ★ Thought for the Day – What Does God’s Love Mean? ★ I shared about my wife contracting Lyme’s Disease in the summer of 2013. For those of you who don’t know about this often misdiagnosed illness, Lyme’s Disease is a debilitating disease that affects the neurological system when a bacterium enters the body from a deer tick bite. As a result of this contagion, the body is devastated and if it is left untreated it can cause paralysis and in some cases even death. As the darkness surrounded my wife and our family, we grabbed hold of God like never before and searched through the Bible for encouragement. My old Pastor from NJ gave this advice long ago to pray the scriptures back to God. So that is exactly what we did, we prayed and prayed for healing and deliverance.
One verse that brought us great comfort was James 5:13-16 (NLT) which describes the “The Power of Prayer”…
“Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
My wife suffered many days as we prayed and waited for the medication to take effect. For three days I prayed and fasted for her to come out of the fog and for the debilitating fatigue that was wreaking havoc on her body to pass. On the darkest night, we called on our Pastor for prayer and I anointed my wife with oil as James instructed and through God’s mercy and the medication finally taking effect she took a turn for the better. As I think back on that summer and how my wife’s sickness affected our family, if our faith was not rock solid before we went into that storm I don’t know what would have happened. We grew closer to God in that season than in any other time of our life. God was there with us, I know that with every fiber of my being! Every step of the way, our Heavenly Father providing everything we needed but we would never have experienced it if our faith was Fair-weathered. I was reading Psalm 103:1-5 (ESV) the other day and was reminded about His provision and the many, many benefits of serving Him…
“Bless the Lord, O My Soul Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Charles Stanley had this great life lesson…
“God wants every part of us – body, soul, and spirit – to grow closer to Him and to enter into a joyful relationship with Him. He seeks worshipers who will gladly give everything they are to Him.”
Like a good father, God wants to be a part of every moment of our lives if we will invite Him in. The question is will you worship God even in the darkest hour? In Christ we can find strength for the struggle and faith for the fight, we just need to make the decision to trust in Him. What will you choose?
I am going to close this Thought a little different than I normally do. Since the muse for this post was my friend’s unshakeable faith I wanted to tell you a little more about him and his lovely family. Avito and his wife, Shelly, met in Bible college in 1997. They married in 1999 and 10 years later decided that adoption would be the means through which they would build their family. Avito and Shelly adopted (3) brothers in 2009 and then again in 2016 they felt the strong desire to yet again expand their family through adoption; a process that started in July of 2016 when (3) new siblings were placed in their home while waiting for the final adoption to come.
Joy did come that morning, but it was rather short-lived, or so it seemed. Just weeks after having placement of these recent three new kids, Avito started experiencing things that just didn’t feel right in his body. After weeks and many doctor visits and follow ups, he was finally admitted to Baylor Grapevine where he was subsequently diagnosed with a somewhat rare type of cancer: a primary mediastinal b-cell lymphoma. The tumor is near the thymus gland in his chest, close to his heart. Avito is now having Chemotherapy done at the Cancer Center of America in Phoenix, Arizona. Last Saturday was the first of a minimum of (6) rounds. The rounds are 3 weeks apart so he will get one week of treatment, go home for two weeks, and then go back to Phoenix for the next 18 months. Unbeknownst to me, when God placed Avito on my heart to reach out last Saturday, he was just beginning the arduous journey. Here is a picture of this beautiful family
Why am I sharing all of this? Well I am glad you asked…I wanted to invite you into my brother in Christ’s story so that you could prayer for God’s healing and provision for Avito, Shelly and their (6) adopted children. Also I wanted to see if you would like to come alongside of this wonderful family who are going through a frightening and expensive storm of life. If you would like to help them financially you can got to their “Let’s Beat Lymphoma Together | Medical Expenses – YouCaring” page here:
Thank you for your prayers and consideration of financial support! God Bless!
If you’re interested in digging deeper on developing your faith, check out:
Also if you are going through a storm right now, here are some Scripture Verses to Stand On. (Just right click on the verses to download.)