24 February 2007

Faith---The Evidence of Things Not Seen

“If you have faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20). “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mk 4:40). “Or in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘the just shall live by faith.’” (Rom 1:17). “So, the faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom 10:17). “Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith, for whatever is not from faith is sin.” (Rom 14:22-23).

The Bible’s Concordance is filled with references to faith throughout the entire Scripture. My title infers that faith is the evidence of things not seen. Does that mean that, as a Christian, I am simply to live by faith alone despite the circumstances that are tumbling furiously around me? Through prayer and faith, I should be able to simply turn all my troubles over to God and truly believe that He shall prevail over all my circumstances.

My Christian life, new as it is in the grand scheme of things considering that I will be fifty in April, has been one of some steps forward and some steps backward. That is the nature of growth. Right now, I guess I am in the backward mode. I look at my life and my circumstances and I simply cannot breath. I cry and ask myself just where my faith is when I need it most. And, according to one of the passages listed above, whatever is not from faith is from sin.

How has my life become the shambles it has? There are truly days when my faith has been so strong I felt as though I could surmount anything tossed my way. However, of late, no matter how hard I pray, I feel as though I have lost all touch. I know by reading the Word that my relationship with God is not based upon feelings, but on faith. Therefore, supposedly, I should endure these dry spells on my faith alone despite how I feel.

Easier said than done. When I am literally faced with being one paycheck away from being homeless, the realities of my life interfere with my ability to think clearly about what my duties should be as a Christian. It’s not that I don’t believe—I believe with all my heart—but I am suffocating. Is this the enemy coming to interfere with my faithful walk with the Lord? I do believe that it is.

I feel as though I should ask for forgiveness for my weaknesses. People tell me that grand bumper sticker of all time, “Let go, and let God.” I do let go at times, but times such as these, I grab it back and try to take control on my own. But, I know that there is absolutely nothing I can do in my own strength to solve my enormous problems. I also know that the only one who can come to my rescue is God. I can write all of this down quite rationally, but if you could see the terror in my eyes, the thump of my heart or my breath whisk, you would understand how incredibly powerless I feel.

Believing in God and letting go and having faith is not giving up—despite what the secular world would have me believe. These are just my steps backward. I feel as if this is my season in the wilderness—just as the Israelites wandered for 40 years because of their disobedience and lack of faith. Am I being disobedient now because of my lack of faith? I have so many questions and am so confused. The Bible tells me that God will never forsake me. It also says that God will never cast any burden upon my shoulders more than I can bear. The former I have to believe in. It’s simply the latter that I question right now. Either way, I no longer feel as though I have any more answers left. ©2007

1 comment:

  1. Wilderness experiences. We all have them. Going from shaded, quiet, cool streams to hot desert is the worst. But it is a common experience.

    Everyone has a "wilderness" experience that is their own. There are no "cookie cutter" experiences. Like children, we....each a unique design, experience life uniquely.

    Funny thing about the wilderness...it works hard to separate us from others, conspires to convince us that we are alone, with it's solitude and wide open range....it almost succeeds, until God's Spirit whispers again, "I will never leave you or forsake you.

    Isn't that what a lion does on the African plain, cut an animal out of the herd so that it will be more vulnerable, more suceptible to destruction, more liable to become dinner? And his role is to kill, steal, and destroy.

    So in the wilderness there are two forces at work....the purpose of God, to grow us, encourage us, strengthen us....and the enemy..., who sees our wilderness experience as an opportunity to kill, steal, and destroy.

    Strange isn't it, that while enjoying the cool stream, basking in the shade near the watering hole, we discount the truth that the enemy of our soul is just as real, just as menacing as he is in the wilderness. Most African game is killed at the watering hole, because the lions know that the deepest thirst will drive the animals to the water.

    My thirst drives me....I love a God who provides "streams in the desert", who maks "a way of escape", and who knows that I am an easily bruised reed.

    Is it hard, hot, and dry....yes.