Thursday, June 23, 2011

Alma 58

Last Sunday we sang "When Faith Endures" in sacrament meeting, and while the hymn itself didn't resonate much (I think it's kind of a mediocre hymn, to be honest), but in scanning over the scriptures referenced at the bottom of the page, Icam across two verses that have, over the past few days, come to mean a lot to me.

In Alma 58:10-11, we read of how the people of Nephi responded to a serious threat form their enemies: "we did pour out our souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us."

We then learn what happened because of their faith: "the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him."

I'm impressed here with two things. First, the response to difficult experiences was based on hope, not despair. The people had learned to trust in God, and so they turned to Him.

And secondly, their hope came before their deliverance. their prayers were not answered with an immediate and miraculous event, but with the gift of increased faith.

As is often the case in our lives, the best response to challenges is to increase our faith, but that increased faith does not guarantee the end of the trial. but if our faith is sincere, we can find greater hope and assurance.

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