April 22, 2013

Firsthand Experience | Day 11

Step of Faith

Today’s scripture to meditate on: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1)

photo: Russ David












The following is an excerpt from Firsthand: Ditching Secondhand Religion for a Faith of Your Own by Ryan and Josh Shook.

Do you realize that everyone on earth is living by faith? Even the atheist has faith in something unprovable—in this case, the absence of God. By its very definition, faith means believing in something without having final proof or complete understanding. We have faith that gravity will keep our feet on the ground instead of our floating off into space, but this is something we “do not see.” We are “sure” of this belief, but do we have visible proof ? Not really.

In the same way, we have reasonable evidence that leads us to believe God is good and strong and at work in our world. Still, to live out that belief, we must ultimately take a step of faith.

Like us, you probably know people who seem to be talking heads when it comes to questions of faith. They have plenty of opinions, questions, and quotations. They could argue one position or another for ages—and they just might. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned about insincere seekers who are “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).

That’s why we recommend you bring more than your questions to God. Bring Him your heart too. And your will. And your deepest desires. He sees you as more than just an intellect. He sees you as a whole person, and He wants to reveal Himself to all of you.

Embrace the mystery of life. In an age when you can instantly research almost any question on Google, it’s easy to believe there’s no real mystery left in the world. But this line of thinking can be a trap. Socrates wrote, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” Your human nature craves understanding, can’t rest until every question gets answered, every fact is nailed down. But it’s arrogant to think you will ever be able to understand everything.

No matter how well educated you are, there will always be so much you don’t know—about inner and outer space, about the oceans, psychology, physics, human nature, even your own body. You can let this realization of your limitations defeat you, or you can embrace the wonderful mystery of the world around you. You can and should challenge yourself to learn and understand more. But you also need to humbly acknowledge that God, your Creator, is the only One who will ever understand everything.

Have faith in God’s faithfulness. When people present us with their doubts, we usually remind them that, although they may have lost faith in God, He hasn’t lost faith in them. Faith is a process, and doubting is a part of human nature. When nothing else seems clear, you can have faith in God’s faithfulness. The apostle Paul wrote, “What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!” (Romans 3:3–4).

Many of our friends still think God is going to punish them for second-guessing Him. But that’s not going to happen. ( Spend time with the New Testament stories of Peter and Thomas if you don’t believe us.) Just because you have doubts about God does not mean that He has doubts about you!