Philip Yancey said, “Faith is believing in advance something that will only seem logical when seen in reverse.” Sometimes we have to wait decades to understand the reasons for some of God’s actions and that takes unwavering faith. Down through the centuries, God has always found people with unwavering faith who absolutely believed him to do things that didn’t seem logical or possible at the time.
Hudson Taylor, the great pioneer missionary to inland China, spent fifty-one years serving in that country and saw hundreds of other missionaries join him in his work. He once wrote, “In the greatest difficulties, in the heaviest of trials, in the deepest poverty and necessity, God has never failed me.
“The financial balance for the entire China Inland Mission yesterday was twenty-five cents. Twenty-five cents and all the promises of God.” That’s unwavering faith.
So what is faith? It certainly isn’t a feeling you whip up in your heart and mind in times of crisis. That doesn’t help much when you are in the lion’s den like Daniel or being ruthlessly chased around the country by a king trying to kill you like David. Of Daniel it was written, “Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.”1 That was unwavering faith. David said, “But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me.”2 That was unwavering faith. Faith is an act of the will, a deliberate choice based on the absolute trustworthiness of the promises of God recorded in his Word.
Faith isn’t the belief that God will do what you want, but it is the belief that God will always do what is right. So you too can have unwavering faith. It isn’t just for the spiritual giants in the Bible or past missionary pioneers, but it is also for regular, ordinary people like you and me.
Harry and Bertha Holt were a farming couple in Eugene, Oregon. One day Harry read a notice in the local paper about a meeting to be held in the town hall about helping orphans who had been abandoned in Korea after the Korean conflict. American soldiers had fathered the orphans; and because they were not pureblooded Korean children, many of them were rejected by the people. They were outcasts.
Bob Pierce from World Vision led a meeting and showed a film telling of the terrible plight of these children. He ended the service by asking, “Will anyone here help me with these very needy orphans?”
That night Harry and Bertha wondered what they could do. They told Bob Pierce, “We are just a poor farm family, but we will go home and pray about it.”
As he prayed, Harry got an idea. Why not go to Korea, find some little girl who was being rejected, and bring her back to live on the farm. He knew he could change life for one young girl. Harry’s faith was stretched to make the trip to Korea, but he committed to taking that first unwavering step of faith.
Once he got to Korea, something happened. His faith grew dramatically. When he flew home, he presented Bertha with eight children. “Honey,” he said, “I couldn’t help it. We have to adopt them all.”
In order for them to be legally adopted, it required an Act of Congress so Harry wrote his congressional representative. Soon the U.S. Congress passed an act enabling Harry and Bertha to legally adopt these children and bring other children to the United States for adoption by other parents.
A photo of Harry and Bertha with their eight children was sent out to newspapers all across the country. Soon Harry and Bertha were getting phone calls and letters from people asking how they could adopt a child too.
A few months later, Harry and Bertha went back to Korea. This time they chartered a plane and brought back hundreds of children to be adopted by fathers and mothers all across the country. They were just a couple of country farm people who had unwavering faith and stepped out on the promises of Almighty God.
Harry died a few years later, but Bertha kept going. She helped almost forty thousand children get adopted into families before she died at age ninety-six.
She had unwavering faith in God to enable her to see all these children’s lives transformed, as they became a part of loving, caring families. Just last year, long after their deaths, 679 children joined families because of Harry and Bertha’s unwavering faith and vision.
*This passage was taken from Kevin Dyer’s most recent book, Unwavering Faith, Unshakable Hope, Unfailing Love.
- Daniel 6:23 NLT
- Psalm 13:5 NLT
- Hebrews 11:6 NLT
- Charles Wesley; Faith, Mighty Faith; 1707-1788