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Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Mary Oliver

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Faith that Works Summer Series/ faith and why

Last Thursday we enjoyed a lively discussion at The Journey in West County as our group of women discussed "why" questions.

I defined faith from accounts from the book of Luke where we saw over and over again, Jesus commending individuals faith, then pointing out lack of faith in others.  Jesus made his point- faith was a key.   We continued to explore at least 10 different verses on faith from Luke- Jesus making statements such as, "your faith has made you well."  Then we saw in Luke 17:5 the disciples ask Jesus, "increase our faith."  These men realized their lack of faith, and asked the one who could increase it, to please do so.  I think that was pretty intelligent of them.

Why don't we admit that we struggle with faith at times?  There are days that we all have why questions.  Today could be that day for you.   What stops us from admitting we do not have it all figured out- ready in the blink of an eye to spout off a verse, showing we KNOW how to live in every moment.  Maybe the answer to that question is fear?  Maybe we think that is not godly to question God and His will for our life?  

After we looked at Luke last Thursday night we went to Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."  We defined hope- Ephesians 1:16, Paul speaks to the church in Ephesus through a letter- "I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you might know him better.  I pray also that the eyes of your heart might be enlightened."

The faith of being sure of what we hope for comes from knowing Christ as shown in Ephesians.   When we know Him,  a spirit of wisdom and revelation come, which then gives us hope in what we cannot see.  But then when that spirit of wisdom and revelation come- we know HIM even better.

So- This may sound confusing.  It is a circle, so to speak.  We need the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Christ better, which gives us hope.  But knowing Christ, brings us to that spirit of wisdom and revelation.  How do we begin the process?  Paul prayed for them to receive it.

In closing- our group discussed the "WHY" questions of life.  Why, did I lead us into that can of worms?  I did it because I see a problem with many of us.  We tie up our faith into a neat little package, we have all of the answers, become pretty smug in all of it.  Then tragedy hits and our package starts to come unwrapped and we realize their is nothing inside that we can actually use to get through this trial.  Then we get upset with God- how could He allow this to happen to me.  But we missed something- a big something.  Our package was a system, a to do list so to speak- be a good person, go to church, read the bible, do good works- and we left Christ out of it completely.  We don't KNOW HIM, so we don't trust HIM- our trust is only as good as the last blessing He gave us.  Then we walk away from Him- disappointed, despairing, depressed.  He let us down.  

This is my belief-If you don't fight a little bit, test the system you are currently a part of- when the trials come, it will crumble.  Go to God, ask for more faith, like the disciples did.  Pray like Paul did- to give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation so you can TRULY know HIM better.  Don't settle for a mediocre faith- milky and weak, so that when something big in your life happens you have to turn to coping mechanisms like alcohol, or prescription drugs, or sleep, and worry- escapism.  Be bold in your pray life, ask God those deep questions, wrestle with God like The Great leaders of our faith did in history- C.S. Lewis, Luther, St. Augustine, even Mother Teresa ( of which I greatly admire and quote often).   I encourage you, I desire for you to read this following verse and KNOW it deep down, without doubt:

“By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance, O God of our salvation; you are the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. By your strength you established the mountains; you are girded with might. You silence the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples. Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy” (Psalm 65:5-8).

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