Growing up in the church, there were many concepts that baffled my mind. One of them was the topic of faith. When I was young, my pastor explained that faith was like someone jumping off a cliff and hoping that something will prevent the jumper from being spread out across the ground below. This analogy stuck with me for the longest time, but when I tried to have faith that was like a leaper, nothing happened. Then I read in scripture that many people were commended for their example of faith in Hebrews, but their stories did not seem to match my life. I thought that they must have been given a special dose of faith that would hit me when I became an adult. Now as an adult, I have come to dismiss this analogy of faith. Why? I think that faith is one of the biggest struggles and most vital elements in our relationship with the Lord of the universe. A search in our Bibles finds that the word “faith” comes up over four hundred times. Most notably, we see that our salvation is found through faith alone in Jesus’ work on the cross for our sins. However, due to the fact that our society is becoming increasingly bored with the simple, and fast-pace has become the only way to live, we lose sight of faith on a daily basis. This is a dangerous way to live.
For example, if we look at the activities we engage in during the course of a day, each activity involves faith. When we wake up in the morning, we have faith that our house will still be in one piece after the evening, our shower will pour out water, our food has not gone bad, our car will be able to provide transportation, we will still have a job, etc and etc. However, all of these examples of faith are examples of items we can encounter through our five senses. Because of our faith in our perception, we believe these all to be trustworthy. My question is, then, are they? Have they always been trustworthy? Many of the inventions we trust are from the hands and minds of our fellow man; even though have increased the longevity and joy of our lives, they are going to pass away one day. It is difficult to imagine a life where we will not have internet capable phones or cars running on gasoline, but we should not keep our faith in the things that we are able to encounter. I’m not suggesting that we drive with our eyes closed or eat bread with mold on it, but I think if our faith is firmly rooted in the One who is not flawed and who is steadfast and true, faith in other items will come.
An example of this came when I went on a road trip with some friends to Magic Mountain theme park in California. We had a great time riding the roller coasters and building friendships but for one moment I did not enjoy the trip. A few days prior, I had lost my cell phone and received a new one right before going on the trip. I was being very careful not to lose it until one moment I reached to get my phone out and it was no longer there. My first reaction was to panic and search the areas that I was last in for my missing phone. After not finding the phone, I began to do something that should have been my first response: I prayed. I thanked the Lord for being faithful, and that ultimately, he was the one who provided me a phone to use. I continued to pray and recall to my mind scriptures that were reminders of God’s faithfulness. The remainder of the day, I constantly reminded myself of these truths as I attempted to enjoy myself. When I went to lost and found, I came back to my group of friends without my phone. We prayed again corporately and headed out to dinner. We sat down for dinner and one of my friends, who called my phone hourly, received a phone call from my lost phone. Someone had found my phone and we made arrangements to pick it up.
Many times, this is how faith comes out in our lives—when we are deeply troubled and things seem to crash down before us, we pray to the Lord and remind ourselves of truth. I’m not saying that this is a wrong response, but I believe that this response should be ours in the seasons of life that are filled with happiness, not just the ones filled with pain. It is difficult to have faith, but the more we remind ourselves of the Lord’s continual faithfulness, the more we will be able to stand strong in the good seasons and the bad seasons of life. Look at the life of Abraham: he was praised for his faith, he left his hometown, he continued to trust God in the midst of trials, and God was faithful. Not because of any of the works of Abraham, but because God’s character is filled with steadfast love and faithfulness. If God wasn’t steadfast or faithful, we would still have to work to obtain our salvation, but He is and we are able to trust him, because he ultimately gave us our greatest need in life, Jesus Christ. How much more can he assist us when we wonder how we will pay the bills next month, when we will find a spouse, what we will do when we complete college?
It is difficult to trust someone or something we do not see, but let us take comfort in the following truth, “…in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him” (Hebrews 2:8). There is nothing outside of God’s rule; no elected official will surprise God’s sovereign rule, nor the fact that man rebels against him daily or that his son was used as a sacrifice for his people, nothing is outside of his jurisdiction or control.
Take comfort in this brothers and sisters: God is steadfast so that we didn’t have to be, and he will continue to be steadfast, even when we are faithless. Let us not look at faith as blindly jumping off a cliff, but let us trust the Lord through good times and bad ones we will encounter. Take greater comfort that there will come a day that we will be with him forever in heaven, when we will no longer need faith.