My friend, may I ask you a question? When we consider the role of faith in our lives, how much of living is merely the consequence living, and how much the evidence of faith? Is endurance more of a factor dealing with life’s hardships than faith in these instances?
My friend, life's a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Growing up life was full of the consequences of being a son. There were of course the many chores that seemed to haunt my free time. Most of these weren’t choices, they were chores. Seldom if ever did I choose a chore. Those choices were made for me, whether it was washing the basement steps for Mom or weeding the garden for Dad. As I trudged downstairs to grab a wash bucket or pull a hoe off the garage wall, I felt put out, even subjugated to an extant. I was a kid and was being tasked because I was a kid. Then there was the other part of living under the authority of my parents, the “I need to do this because I love you” part. I’d done something wrong, broken some rule or caused some grief and ended up punished. I felt imposed upon. It was not my choice but it was my fate. Life seemed to be a competition between doing or being done to. It always seemed that the doing to outpaced the me doing, however.
Chores and punishments were actually a small part of my life growing up. It’s human nature to amplify our agonies and humble the blessings. Perhaps we’re no different when we consider the role of faith? How much of living is merely consequences, and how much the evidence of faith?
Oswald Chambers writes. “Faith by its very nature must be tried . . . Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of un-syllabled (sic) isolation. Never confound the trial of faith with the ordinary discipline of life. Much that we call the trial of faith is the inevitable result of being alive. Faith in the Bible is faith in God against everything that contradicts Him . . . this is the most sublime utterance of faith in the whole of the Bible.” (My Utmost for His Highest, October 31)
Matthew 17:20 tells us: “. . . if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” We often view the path of faith as I viewed chores as a boy: imposing. This has a way of making us feel better, since it’s focused on us. However, as I viewed chores as punishment, this is wrong thinking. Disobedience was the real personal challenge. Punishment was given out of love and chores out of responsibility. The faith Jesus was speaking of here is a faith founded in knowing the difference. Believing in our immutable God takes faith, coping with life requires perseverance and character. Confusing the two may result in an imbalance that will, ironically, hurt faith. Believing in God takes the kind of faith that moves mountains. Believing that life’s struggles are temporary and need to be endured takes faith in yourself. When God sends us to our room it’s significant. When he allows hardship it’s just the way life is.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the ability to know you by knowing Christ. Help us to remember that this is the real challenge of faith and not the hardships in our lives. Forgive us Lord when we focus so much on what goes wrong in our lives that we forget the awesomeness of the fact that you are God over all. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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