God’s School of Faith

From the March 7 entry in Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman:

“There is no way to learn of faith except through trials. They are God’s school of faith, and it is much better for us to learn to trust Him than to live a life of enjoyment. And once the lesson of faith has been learned, it is an everlasting possession and an eternal fortune gained. Yet without trust in God, even great riches will leave us in poverty.”


120 Responses to “God’s School of Faith”

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  1. 1
    Lisa Buffaloe says:

    I love Streams in the Desert! Thank you, Amanda. I have a quote from Richard Wurmbrand (The Voice of the Martyrs). “A faith that can be destroyed by suffering is not faith.”

    Have a great weekend! I’m praying for you all!

  2. 2
    Sherrie Kulwicki says:

    From the March 7 “My Utmost..””The surf that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things-tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors through Him in all these things, not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. The saint never knows the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it.”

  3. 3
    Fran says:

    I have lived that message in my 58 years and know its Truth. I am so blessed!

  4. 4
    Kim Noel says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, Amanda–for reminding me of the “eternal fortune gained.” I’m also reading Streams in the Desert this year–but I skipped my reading this morning because I’ve been feeling so down. I’ve been struggling through 2+ years of daily migraine headaches. This morning I woke up with another one, and it seemed that I just could not go on. But God is faithful–and He is teaching me to cling to Him and trust Him in new ways. My relationship with Him is so much deeper than two years ago. This morning, I just kept singing over and over those words sung by Bethany Dillon “Simply to the cross I cling, letting go of all earthly things, I’m clinging to the cross…” So for all those other siestas out there who are struggling, I say a prayer for you this morning. He is faithful–you are the apple of His eye and He loves you immeasurably(see Psalm 17-7-9).

  5. 5
    Mary says:

    Amen. I really learn a lot from that devotional 🙂

  6. 6
    Fran says:

    Thank you!!!

  7. 7
    Celie says:

    The learning of faith through trail! Eleven years ago on 3/7/1997 God called us to this place. The school of faith as he called our baby son, Troy home at 20 years of age to those streets of gold. To day we can say we have walked the path he called us to. I miss Troy so much, more than words can speak, it was/is so hard. I can say my faith is truly stronger today because of it. I know I can do all things through Christ he along strengthen me. Thank you Beth/Lifeway for the teaching you have been given from God to teach us and the edifying us in the Lord. You have been through your teaching a drink of cool water along this path in my journey.
    Love Celie

  8. 8
    Isaac's Mom says:

    TRUE THAT!!!!

    Isaac’s Mom

  9. 9
    Carrie says:

    It seems everyone I turn someone is reading this devotional this year. Maybe I should pick one up…

  10. 10
    Anonymous says:

    A word fitly spoken for such desperate times as these. Thx.

  11. 11
    Cindy says:

    Thank you Amanda. I sent your message to a dear friend. Her faith is being tested right now. Her husband has been battling cancer for 3 years and he was to have a bone marrow transplant this week, but unfortunately he was not able to because his cancer ran rapid even through treatments. He will undergo 4 days of extentive chemo with bone scans after each treatment. We are praying that he will be able to tolerate the treatments and with God’s healing mercy he will be able to undergo the transplant. Please pray my prayer warriors.

  12. 12
    colorado girl says:

    Oh, that’s wild. I just read that entry in Streams in the Desert minutes ago and now here it is on my favorite blog. I can be hard of hearing sometimes, but I hear you, Lord!

    Our first-born child, Anna, died when she was 17 months old. I believed with all my heart that God said He would heal her. Then when she died I believed he would raise her. It’s been 12 years now, and God has been so faithful to hold us close and give us great healing. He has accomplished incredible things through her life and death. Sometimes, though, it hits me like it just happened. Today I was reading (in John) about Jesus healing the official’s son. Jesus said, “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders you will never believe.” How blessed we are when He gives us the faith to believe Him even when we don’t get the miracle we so desperately wanted. I know that I have a WONDERFUL TREASURE in Heaven.

    Kim Noel, I am praying for you. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to endure that kind of physical pain for so long. May God pour out comfort, love, and healing in you.

    Thanks for this post, Amanda. I have been encouraged countless times by this blog.

  13. 13
    michellemabell says:


    And how I love that without faith we cannot please Him.
    He is so amazing!!!!

    Thanks for the devotional.

    Love and Blessings,

    Michelle in VT

  14. 14
    Emmy says:

    Thanks for sharing that Amanda! : )

  15. 15
    Anonymous says:

    and oh, so ture. Thanks for the message.
    I’m in that class now,
    those tirals….oach! but hey, now I’m thankful for them because they brought me closser to him.


  16. 16
    Boonies in the Boonies says:

    Oh gosh! That’s fantastic!!
    I definitely just put that on my facebook favorite quotations.
    What a great word! Thanks for sharing!

    Rebekah Boone
    Bryant, AR

  17. 17
    UL Cards Fan says:

    ” Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

    Thank you Amanda, Beth, and Melissa and all you WONDERFUL SIESTAS for living out this verse everyday.

    Love, Linda

  18. 18
    Kim says:

    Thank goodness He loves us enough to teach us!

    Doswell, VA

  19. 19
    TN Girl says:

    In the words of Andrae Crouch “Through it all…Through it all I’ve learned to trust in Jesus I’ve learnd to trust in God. Through it all…Through it all I’ve learned to depend upon His word!” Amen what we learn “Through it All”!

    Thanks for the thought this morning Amanda

  20. 20
    kat says:

    What a powerful truth that last sentence is. With trust in God great are our treasures in Him…but it is just hard sometimes.

  21. 21
    casey says:

    Amanda that is exactly what I needed to hear today!!! Thank you for sharing with us.

    I am so blessed by this blog each day. Isn’t funny what God can use to speak to us! He is an awesome GOD!!

  22. 22
    Rhonda says:


  23. 23
    Michele says:

    Yes trials bring us closer to God. So when you ask God to bring you closer to him or strengthen your faith, tighten your seat belt.

  24. 24
    ma P says:

    very timely for me just now. thank you for posting this.

  25. 25
    Heather says:

    Often times we think God moved us to Houston to be a godly influence on someone else. We taught high school students for years back home and loved it, and always wondered if there was someone here to reach. The more I am learning and the longer we have been here, we find ourselves thinking He wants to do a great work within us and deepen our faith. We have had so many trials through this past year and in the move alone, that I find myself leaning on Him more to get me through the next. It’s been a tough pill to swallow thinking He had to move us away 800 miles from everyone we love to learn this and bring us closer to Him. This is a great word for the day and I needed to hear it, again! Thanks for sharing!!

  26. 26
    Stuart and Sarah Creamer says:

    Learning of faith through a trial- boy do I understand that one. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility the past 2 years. I am 26 years old. Not understanding why other women, child abusers, teenagers, etc…get pregnant but an established Christian couple can’t. I am daily learning to trust that God knows what is best for Stuart and I and that right now is just not His timing! “Oh for grace to trust Him more”!

  27. 27
    Anonymous says:

    I have used ‘Streams in the Desert’ off and on for about 20 years as a devotional book. During the last year, God has used it so richly in my life – there have been weeks where every day seem to be something new that He wanted to say to me. I think the messages in it are timeless because they speak to the depths of human suffering and God’s role in it.

    As I understand the story, Ms. L.B. Cowman and her husband were missionaries in Asia – China and Japan, I think. He became ill and they had to leave the field. She nursed him for 6 years until he passed away. This devotional arose out of that time of her life.

    Rebecca R. Walker

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I needed to hear that.

    Anne in MO

  29. 29
    Patty says:

    Amanda, I love that you shared this today and you know the trials my family faces and that was an encouragement for me today!

    God led me to read Breakthrough Prayer by Jim Cymbala this morning and the chapter I read was the very thing that applied to our situation and this is one quote from that chapter.

    “If you have been waiting for an answer to prayer for a long time, remember that long waits often occur right before the biggest mountains come down.”

    One more because it needs to be shared today:

    “Instead of letting Satan have the last word in the battle to believe, speak it yourself, borrowing from God’s own word in Scripture: “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”

    Have a wonderful weekend Siestas!

  30. 30
    jennyhope says:


  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    What a great post. Thanks!

  32. 32
    Miss Debbie says:

    Thank you Amanda, that really ministered to my heart this morning. I sent the excerpt to my girl friends, to encourage them this morning. Bless your heart and all you think, say and do today. God has used you today in a powerful way. Praise to our Mighty God for His compassion, mercy and presence in our lives.
    Thank you for your ministry and LPM…this blog is such a blessing to my heart.

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    Thank You for posting this! Day by day I am learning to trust Him – even when I can’t see what’s around the corner…
    Mary Ann

  34. 34
    Cindy- My Life HIS Story says:

    I needed this Word this day. Thank you.

    Praying blessings this morning for your family -ALL of your family! Thank you for your continued ministry.

  35. 35
    Sandra says:

    Thank you for the word of encouragement this morning. It was what I needed to hear.

  36. 36
    Kiki says:

    I so needed this today, thanks for sharing! What a faith ride I have been on over the past couple of years. As my Bible memory verse says, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you. He rise to show you compassion…”

  37. 37
    Keri says:

    Thank you for this. We are walking by faith alone right now in our family. It is a difficult time, but I am grateful for the intimacy I’ve had with my Savior. I can say I’m truly thankful for this trail because it solidifies what I’ve always known……I serve a trustworthy and faithful God who loves me.

  38. 38
    Anonymous says:

    Praise be to God! As I am working i am listening to Daniel. Beth has been talking about trials and I am currently going through one, then i log on see this again about trials and faith! I love when God shouts! Praise be to God!

    kimberly, alabama

  39. 39
    Teena says:

    Sounds like it’s part of our INHERITANCE!!! :-0 Thanks Amanda.

  40. 40
    Holly says:

    Ooo! And that fits so well with the words in “My Utmost” that I meditated upon this morning: “The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us.”

    I DO want more faith and abundant joy!! In fact I prayed for it this morning. I also prayed over your entire family–love you much in Jesus, Amanda!

  41. 41
    hisfivefooter says:

    Timely. I am currently awaiting the results of a shareholder meeting that will determine if we go forward or not. Believe. We believe, therefore, we receive. We act out of our belief systems. Faith is the essence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Believe Him. Lisa believed God…and it was credited to her as righteousness.

  42. 42
    Susan says:

    Wow . . . love it!

  43. 43
    Cathy says:

    Oh, Amen! It’s true–I’m living it right now. In the middle of pressure like I’ve never experienced, I have a table set before me each morning, and the feeding, anointing and filling of the Lord for each day. Instead of wasting away and turning to a skeleton, I’m in the Valley of the Shadow getting richly fed and nourished by the Lord!!! Praise You, Jesus! Lead me on!!!

  44. 44
    Mary Lindsey says:

    I read that this morning, too! I underlined…

    “God is constantly trying to teach us how dependent we are on Him- that we are held completely by His hand and reliant on His care alone.”

    It is so cool to see how God speaks to each of us differently.

  45. 45
    Lauren Kelly says:

    Thank you for this, Amanda :o)

  46. 46
    Heather says:

    Trials are not only God’s lessons of His faithfulness to us, they are also living reminders of His love; and how great of a God he his. I have been through more than my fair share of trials and I pray that He doesn’t allow me to forget where I came from, where He brought me from. It also reminds me that if God trusted me with these trials and knew that I would not forsake him; I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me once He brings me through any other storm.

  47. 47
    danne says:

    Thank you Amamda for thinking of us! I needed that!

  48. 48
    Moose Mama says:

    Yes and Amen!


  49. 49
    Sheryl says:

    God has really been teaching me this. My family is once again going through a difficult trial and I refuse to distrust my LORD. This difficulty is nothing I want. I hate it…but, I love my LORD, I TRUST HIM.



  50. 50
    Anonymous says:

    And what if God asks us to trust Him to lead us into a ministry but we are afraid He won’t provide for us during this economy? We could miss out on God’s precious Gift to us. I don’t want to miss out on God’s Awesome Plan for my life!!!!

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