In my recent observation of a church member dying from cancer, I have seen the ultimate faith, the epitome of "to live is Christ, and to die is gain." It is an attitude so contradictory in nature—that although suffering is upon his body every single moment, his spirit is strong and glorifying God.
The ultimate faith is undeterred by any trials or sufferings. Instead, it remains steadfast even when God does not bestow His blessings. It is a spirit that never gives up in the hope it first believed in.
Upon threat of being thrown into a fiery furnace, Daniel's three friends exemplified this unyielding faith. Facing danger and death, they were able to deny the king and follow God's commands. They said,
If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. (Dan 3:17-18)Their statement expressed the same conviction as Habbakuk's prayer. The youths were aware of God's omnipotence, that He had the ability to rescue them from the fire. Yet being unaware of God's will for them, they insisted that they would persevere in the faith even if God did not rescue them. The church brother suffering from cancer has not received healing from God; however, his faith is so steadfast that although suffering persists, he still has a desire to work for God.
This is the faith that we should attain in Christ. For if our faith is only built around blessings, the blessings may disappear, and so may our faith. Instead, let us put our trust in God no matter the circumstances, keeping hold of His word. We ask God to give us this strength and, through our experiences, to refine us like gold. Then we shall be able to "joy in the God of [our] salvation."