Faith isn’t a blind guess; it’s a certain knowing. As Hebrews 11:1 puts it; “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith isn’t a guess, but a certainty of what isn’t immediately apparent. I’ve been thinking about that a lot since examining the end of Ruth chapter 1. Here Naomi has somewhat of a faith crisis. She believes the Lord is God. She has a difficult time believing the Lord is good; or that the Lord will do good for her. She is, because of her present circumstances, convinced that the Lord has turned against her. We know from the story, and from the character of God and His heart for His people, that God has not turned his back on Naomi. She just can’t see that at the moment. And that’s where she has, for the moment, “lost her faith.” She cannot see the goodness of God, and therefore doesn’t believe it. Faith is the ability to believe God and His promises, even when present circumstances blind us. It’s the ability to see in the dark. In order to see in the dark, then, we need to study our surroundings – to study God Himself – when the lights are on. When things are good, and the skies are clear. That is the time to make sure you see God clearly, and to learn His character and Word, so that your faith doesn’t waver when the hard times of life hit, and the lights are turned out. It’s safe to assume those times are coming. In sports, we train and practice through the week, so that we can perform in the games. In the Christian life, we train our faith when God is “near” so that it will stand when He is “absent.” So how do you prepare? How do you learn the character and promises and Word of God so well, that when your present experience would tell you He’s abandoned you, your faith has been well-trained, and assures you of His love? How are you and I building and training our faith, day by day? How are you training up faith in your family? It’s a question worth asking yourself. In some sense that’s everything we do as a church – in song, sermon, study, prayer, service, community, etc. We are training our faith together, so that we can see in the dark, and our faith won’t falter in hardship.