Thursday, September 8, 2016

Faith. A belief that there is a God, He loves me, His Son is Jesus and He died for me, and now the Holy Spirit lives in me. Yes, that is what I've thought faith was for oh, let's say my entire Christian life. Twenty-threeish years.

While that may be a part of faith, it is certainly does not encompass all that such a small, yet enormously powerful word means. I'm learning that faith in my life is trusting God, His Son, the Holy Spirit, this triune person... implicitly.

It's one thing to believe in the existence of God. It is entirely another to trust Him with every ounce of your being and make yourself vulnerable to the wild ride that is real faith.

Have you read the hall of fame of faith in Hebrews 11 in a while? It starts out with the definition of faith:  "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." I hope for heaven and I'm certain that I will live there eternally one day. I don't struggle with doubts about death and life beyond with Jesus. In fact, some days I long for Him to return so that I can throw off the struggles of this earthly faith walk.

But what about hope and certainty in this life? What does faith really look like in a fallen world where the enemy of our soul runs rampant? Most of us will not experience an impending flood and massive ark construction. It is highly unlikely that God will repeat the Abraham Isaac test. But there are impending "floods" we've been called to prepare for and seemingly impossible choices and "tests" that are before all of us at one point or another.

The question is, will our faith be real? Will we be absolutely certain of what we do not see? At the moment, I can't see God's promise that I will come through on the other side of my currently splintered life and ridiculous circumstances. But I know that He's promised me I will. There's hardly even a glimpse of redemption right now, but His promise is still true.

"He does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). God doesn't change His mind and put us on an emotional roller coaster. We get on that ride ourselves by listening to every vacillating emotional tide that comes our way.

How do I get to know this unchanging Person? He is known through His Word. And if He does not change, then His Word does not change and this living text can also be trusted. His word says that "The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24) and "For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:5)

Those are just a few verses regarding His faithfulness toward us. So even when my faith is lacking, seems weak, or non-existent... He. Is. Faithful. How amazing is that? It floors me that I am loved by a God who does not leave me when I am at my lowest point. He is not exhausted by days of rock solid faith followed by weeks of despair and doubt. His faithfulness toward me is steady and strong and relentless.

He is the bridegroom that will never give up on me. He will never abandon me. My weakest moments do not scare Him. Instead, these moments make His love and faithfulness toward me even more evident. I know He is near. I know He carries me. He hurts when I hurt and "longs to be gracious to me and show me compassion" (Isaiah 30:18). I cannot do anything that will bring about rejection.

So the God of the universe, who could have anything, chooses to pursue me and be faithful to me despite all my doubts and fears and failures. He is faithful. He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one. And though I've been a believer and "found" for over twenty-three years, He continues to seek me out and find me daily. He finds me because of His faithfulness and He calls me to trust Him. 

To have faith.