Sunday, February 26, 2006

Being Sure of What We Hope For

I love the verse that gives us the definition of faith..."faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see". I mean even in it's definition, it challenges me to have it. How can I believe in what I hope for, or be certain of what I do not see without first having faith. It sometimes blows my mind to even try to wrap my mind around it, because that's just it...You can't. You simply have to trust that this God we know, and this Savior we call Jesus is exactly who He says He is. That He is doing exactly what He says He will.

I think I've always been an optimistic realist. Meaning that, I definitely think "Polyanna-like", but am extremely rational in what I believe. In some ways I'm a dreamer, but in other ways, dreaming is just too risky. So to be challenged to simply have faith without having any proof to base it in, or believe and be sure that what I hope in is real, seems at times risky. Almost foolish to be sure of what I hope for.

My youth pastor in high school had this T-shirt that said, "Jesus Christ...Lunatic, liar, or Lord." Now, catchy as it was, it took me a time or two of seeing it before I really thought about what it meant. But as I came to see how much we are challenged to believe, I realized that it was completely true. We cannot stand by and think that Jesus was anything but completely God in man, the one true Lord, or we are saying that He was either just a loon, or a liar.

I think about Abraham and Sarah, and how they lived without ever seeing the promise of God being fulfilled. Living in a way that they were most likely ridiculed and scoffed at for. Only going on their faith in the words of their God. But through their faith, God did fulfill and is still fulfilling that promise completely.

I was talking with a close friend the other day, and she was talking about how she had been struggling to lose sight of what she was doing in life. Feeling like the way their family had been called to live was being lost. She felt like it seemed so hard to believe that what she was doing was really making an impact on anyone. Thinking that God really wasn't pleased with her decisions and sacrifices, because with her eyes it didn't seem like anything was getting anywhere. That it was all for nothing. She knew that these things weren't true, but in the moment, faith was squeezing through her hands, and she just couldn't grasp it.

I don't think that this thing called "faith" is an easy thing to grasp. I think that it's a choice that we have to ask Christ to live out in us. That on our own, we just can't make it happen. He has to give us the faith that then we can live out for Him. And the more we choose to live it, the more we will see His faithfulness receiving our faith. I want Him to give me the strength to choose to have faith, even on days when I'm not "feeling" much of anything. I desire to live in a way that goes against the mainstream life of trusting in what I see..So that when I am living in this "foolish" way, I truly am living out what He calls faith. These are the times that we will see Him come to meet us in ways that we certainly can't see, but know beyond a shadow of a doubt are only Him.

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