Sunday, June 20, 2010

Living Faith

There are moments in the Christian walk when our objective head knowledge about truth and doctrine collides violently with the reality of daily events, and the place where our capacity to understand God’s purpose reaches its limits. Our study of scripture allows us to learn that sin came into the world through humanity and that creation remains under its curse until Christ makes his triumphant return. We may claim to believe this, but absorbing the implications of this story requires something else altogether.

We may even claim to have hope, but there are moments when our faith is shaken beyond what we could ever comprehend. One can read about the death of 25,000 children a day under the age of 5 and feel a genuine sense of sadness, but there remains a part of us that can’t grasp the scope of this ongoing tragedy until we see it firsthand or until death itself approaches our very own doorstep.

Though God may allow the sun to shine on the just and the unjust, we are at a loss when we receive news of a friend or relative who is the victim or bearer of an unforeseen tragedy. A neighbor’s child is born with a rare disease…an automobile accident takes the life of a young mother…a brother receives news that tests reveal an advanced stage of cancer…an emaciated child in a third world country inhales their last breath because of starvation. How do we cope with or make sense of this kind of news which we seem to encounter on some level almost every day? Perhaps you and your family are walking through an unbearable heartache at this very moment.

Hebrews 4 contains some of the most reassuring words in all of scripture, as it challenges the believer to hold firmly to their faith. Verses 15 and 16 explain, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

How often are we tempted to abandon hope, faith and trust in the one who loved us so much he sent his own son to die on our behalf? If we only looked at Christ’s humanity then perhaps it would be that much easier to give up where He did not. However, he understood our weakness and allowed himself to be led to a cross, where death was defeated and we were given a place to anchor our faith with a vision towards a new and glorious future. This abundance of grace and hope is what we are compelled to share with others around the world, and it extends far beyond the meeting of one’s physical needs.

Today we can read Jesus’ own words of comfort to his disciples and know that their truth meets us today in a place where head knowledge is transcended by the understanding of the heart. Read on and take joy in the kingdom that is coming…

John 14:1-4
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."

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