It's a funny thing.
None of these are my strong suit. I was raised by God-fearing, Bible believing, praying parents. I was taught early and often about God, Jesus and the Spirit. I consider it a privilege that the church I grew up in taught straight from the Bible. Verse by verse. chapter by chapter. Book by book.
I accepted Christ before I can remember. And I have tried to live my life in a way that honors and brings glory to him.
Christian Apologetics were a main stay in my education. I still remember sitting at my desk watching a R. C. Sproul video about holiness. The chills that went down my spine as I began to understand what an amazing God I served. Or listening to discussion on C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters." (Talk about creepy.)
But faith? Faith is not knowledge.
Faith is not a power to wield to get my own agenda stamped with divine approval. Faith is not a guarantee of a positive answer. Faith isn't about me or what I know or what I do.
Faith in my life has been a slippy spiritual concept.
Do I trust God?
Without a doubt.
Do I believe God?
Do I have faith in God?
I've loved Him. I've given my life to him. I've tried to please him. I've tried to hold onto faith even when doubt permeated my mind.
I knew that scripture says "without faith it is impossible to please God." So I tried too have more faith. I tried to muster it up and when I fell flat in a puddle of faithlessness I tried to assure myself that I only needed a mustard seed's worth and it would grow better in a puddle.
I don't know about you, but I've prayed, begged, cried and pleaded with my Savior for something that I knew KNEW would be best for me. And the silence of heaven rang in my ears. Faith is hard.
Faith was especially hard when I thought I needed a feeling to sustain it. When I felt unfaithful I believed the lie that I was unfaithful. When my prayers weren't answered in the manner I had prayed, I believed the lie that my prayers weren't prayed with enough faith.
Oh, how the father of lies must have loved that. And I hate those years, those self-defeating faith destroying lies took.
I prayed for faith, held my Bible on my lap and begged for truth for answers for wisdom. And it would come. I would hold onto to it like I had some power to make it grow. And then something changed.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God." Hebrews 12:2
Faith is about God. Faith is about Jesus. Faith is about believing He is who He says He is.
No. Matter. What.
No matter what life throws in our face. No matter what we are asked to endure. No matter what joy, triumph, heartache or pain comes our way.
God is God.
God is good.
God loves us so much that He chose to have His Son die than live without us.
Once again, I'm writing for me. I want to remember in trying times that God is true and trustworthy. That he never fails, even though it may seem like all is wrong. I want to remember and as the pastor of our church often says, "get historical with God." He has been faithful. He has been true to his word in my life. I can have confident faith. I am waiting with expectant faith for his return. I cannot wait for the day he "wipes every tear from every eye." Revelation 7:17.