So What Is Faith Anyway?
We’re Christians because we have faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It seems sort of easy to have faith in something when it was 2000 years ago and didn’t cause us any personal pain.
What’s hard is to have faith when God allows a man to get hit by a car while he’s biking with his son. Or when God tolerates an innocent child being sold into the sex trade. Or when God seemingly doesn’t answer when we cry out for mercy for one of His most committed servants to be relieved of constant debilitating pain.
There are two elements in God’s perspective that are missing from ours…two things we have to grasp and embrace by faith if we’re going to make sense of pain and tragedy in this world…
- The long view – God sees timelessly. We think “right now”; He thinks “eternity”. What looks like tragedy to us in the short term is grace and mercy in the long. Will we trust that someday, we’ll see the long view and what God was doing in these events in our lives.
- The broad view – God is always doing multiple things in multiple people’s lives at the same time. We have no idea how our momentary pain or overwhelming pain or overwhelming tragedy is being used to challenge someone; to break down a hard heart or to raise up compassion.
When Romans 8:28 starts with “We know” (that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them), it means we “know in advance”. We know that God loves us and that He’s in charge. In faith, we surrender. We yield our demands for a certain outcome. We trust that He knows what’s best, and that someday we’ll see that our loving Heavenly Father was doing something good while we were suffering through what was awful at the time.
In faith, we choose to rest in the fact that He’s using the pain and the suffering for His purposes. In faith, we choose to pray constantly and rely on His strength to get through whatever we’re going through. And in faith, we choose to trust that after we do all we can, the outcome is up to Him. In faith, we choose to believe that God has a plan and that our pain is going to be used for good somewhere for someone.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1).
That’s what faith is.
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