Like a coin, faith is two-sided. One side of the coin is marked with the powerful acts of God through his people. On the other side we see the perseverance of God's people through intense suffering. Both sides of the coin illustrate true faith.
In Hebrews chapter 11, the Hall of Fame of Faith, we discover that, through faith, God's people "conquered kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames and received back their dead, raised to life again." Through their faith in God, these followers saw the mighty power of God in action.
Yet other faithful people, the writer explains, "were tortured for their faith, were put in prison and were put to death by the sword." These persevered in faith through unimaginable suffering.
God wants us to know that faith is not either power or suffering but rather, it is both power and suffering. There are times in the journey when our faith will be rewarded with the unleashed power of God. And there are times when our faith will require teeth-gritting perseverance in the face of our unanswered questions. Don't be surprised by the power and don't be confused by the pain. For you'll find both in a lifetime of trusting in God.