Tuesday, May 15, 2012

thoughts on faith

I am unsure whether I am qualified to make a post about faith, but then, I am not sure that anyone is. Faith is a bit of a tricky thing, I guess. I am not sure what it is really supposed to look like. I have been trying to figure it out. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." But, sometimes I have had the faith that something I hoped for would work out. I hoped against hope that it would, but it didn't. And, instead of being crushed and disappointed, I was actually relieved and thankful. For many years I earnestly believed that when I graduated from college, an opportunity to go live in the bush of Africa would fall into my lap. It didn't. And, I am quite glad for that now. I suppose I could chalk that up to an immature faith, or a self-centered rather than God-centered hope. But, the truth is that I just don't know. It does not say that we have to have a mature faith in order to get what we hope for. What constitutes a mature faith in the first place? And, how do I explain the things that have come to pass as a result of my confident faith, even in its immature state?
The truth is that there are things in which it is easy for me to have faith. Gravity. I believe that a gravitational pull is keeping me from floating to the clouds. The moon. I believe that the moon and stars are still in their places even though I cannot see them when the sun is shining. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. I was not there. I did not see the empty tomb. I did not touch the scars in His hands, but I believe they are there.
2 Corinthians 5:7, "For we live by believing and not by seeing."
But, sometimes I want to know that one day I will see all these things I believe come to pass. Is that unreasonable? I am afraid that it might be. I am not going to cease believing because I don't see, but I cannot say that I blame others for doing so. I am not shocked when tragedies happen and people "lose" their faith in God. What happened to the assurance of those hopes? By all rights, it seems that they were buried with someone's baby or burned in a house fire or exploded in a landmine. It is at those points that I avoid making judgments and clap my hand over my mouth before I stick my foot in it. Who am I to swab over another's reality with my confident assurance? That probably sounds harsher than it is meant to. I believe in God's sovereignty. I do not doubt it for a moment, but I am also aware that not everyone has this same confidence. And, I am just saying that I don't hold it against you. I get where you are coming from because really, I don't know that I could give you the hows and whys of it.
Maybe that is because faith just is. No hows. No whys.

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