Friday, January 11, 2008

Needed Faith Pep-talk ;)

So here’s the question:
What am I going to believe in?
Only the things that I think to be possible?
Or am I going to believe in the things that I think God is saying He wants to make possible?

Which of those options is more likely to be true?
It reminds me of how Susan and Peter didn’t believe that there could really be a Narnia until they believed that the one who told them about Narnia was no liar. If Edmund had been telling the truth instead of Lucy—that would be a first. And this would also be the first time that the arguments of my flesh and human mind wield greater truth than that which is spoken by my God.

God hasn’t proven to be wrong, but my understanding has been proven insufficient.

I don’t remember ever learning just how it could be possible for someone to come back to life, after being dead. But it happened.
I can’t figure out how the stars got up in the sky. But I see them every night.
I can’t quite grasp the fact that this world was around long before I was. But I know it was.
I don’t understand how something can come from nothing and how what was once dust can become living flesh. But here I am.

If only the things I can fathom could be true, I wouldn’t even be here.

So why is it, when it comes to believing God’s promises, that I falter?
I use the excuse that these things are too much for me to understand.
That something is difficult to understand doesn’t make it something to be tossed aside.
Such excuses don’t work very well when I’ve already been taught that understanding is not a prerequisite to believing.

I think that part of the reason I have trouble trusting is that I’m afraid to look like a fool.
Who wants to look like the pre-rain Noah?
Yet why should I care whether I look like a fool?
What does it matter?
Is it better to look like a fool for myself, or is it better to look like a fool for God?
If I don’t believe in what God promises, what kind of respect will that earn me anyway? Maybe I’ll hold onto the kind of respect that doesn’t last, but not the kind I desire.
If I didn’t mind looking like a fool, if I didn’t mind looking like a fool, if I didn’t mind looking like a fool, then I know what I would believe deep down in my heart about certain situations. So maybe I should stop acting foolishly and just start believing without apologizing for the fact that some of what I’m believing in doesn’t look too possible.

“Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender, without losing all control?
Fearless warriors and a picket fence. Reckless abandon wrapped in common sense.
Deep water faith in the shallow end. And we are caught in the middle, with eyes wide open to the differences—the God we want, and the God who is…
Somewhere between the boat and crashing waves…” (Casting Crowns)

If I can’t believe His Word, whose word can I believe?
And if I believe with all my heart that He is directing my life and that He is the voice behind me telling me the way to walk in, then what do I have to worry about? What can man do to me? Nothing. Nothing.

And if I’ve made mistakes, is He not able to see beyond them and fix them?

And if other people make mistakes or haven’t done what they’ve needed to do, do I need to be bitter and faithless or do I need to forgive and keep trusting? Other people can’t stop God from being true to me. They can’t stop me from walking in God’s promises; only I can. People might fail me at times. Sometimes I’ve counted on people and they haven’t done what I thought I needed them to do. Sometimes I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting to see how those other people would help bring to pass the promises I thought God had spoken.

But it really doesn’t matter if other people haven’t been everything I wanted them to be. For out of all the sinners I know, I am the worst. I have plenty of work to do on my own character, and maybe even what I view to be the wrongs of others are thorns in my own flesh to help me grow and to help shave down this log in my eye that keeps blocking me from correctly seeing things. I don’t know anyone else’s thoughts and doubts, but I do know that mine can certainly be pretty terrible.
I am called to trust God, and I am called to believe that even if those other people make mistakes and haven’t done what I was hoping they would do, God will be true even if it looks like trust is getting me nowhere. Other peoples’ actions are not more powerful than God’s promises, and other people cannot stop me from following Him with all of my heart.

What if Abraham hadn’t believed? What if he hadn’t passed the test? What if he hadn’t shown God that he loved Him more than he loved himself or anyone else?
But he passed the test! He believed that death was not as powerful as God’s promises. He knew beyond a doubt what God had promised him, and when it looked like God was threatening this promise, he kept on believing that God would be true, even if it required that God raise up Abraham’s son from the dead in order to keep His word.

NOTHING is too hard for God. Nothing is impossible for God. Nothing is too difficult for God. Nothing is beyond God’s abilities. No difficulty is beyond God’s comprehension. No problem is beyond God’s fixing abilities. No mistake is beyond God’s redemption. No trial is beyond God’s grace. No battle is too big for Him to protect us within it. No storm is too hard for Him to stop. No sorrow is unable to be reached by God’s joy. No struggle is unable to be touched by His peace. No mountain is too hard for Him to climb. No valley is too deep for Him to reach into. No gift is too hard for Him to give. No person is too hard for Him to change. No spark is too small for Him to blow into flame. No life is too short for Him to use. No person is too unimportant for Him to choose. No giant is too hard for Him to kill. No fear is too big for Him to conquer. No enemy is too wily for God to ensnare. No mind is beyond God’s changing. No chain is too thick for Him to break.
No promise is too hard for Him to keep!
Nothing is impossible with God!

I don’t care if His promises are too hard for me to bring about. (okay, maybe I do care, but that means I need to work on it ;D) Why should that matter, when He can do anything? His strength is made perfect in my weakness! His grace is sufficient for me! He won’t withhold from me anything that is truly good for me, even difficult circumstances and lessons that need to be learned.

And even if sometimes I turn out to be wrong about what I really believe is His way, isn't it better to live a life that walks by faith despite the fact that I am but humanity?

He is too wonderful for me.

“Giver of every breath I breathe, Author of all eternity. Giver of every perfect thing, to You be the glory. Maker of heaven and of earth, no one can comprehend Your worth. King over all the universe, to You be the glory. And I am alive because I’m alive in You. It’s all because of Jesus I’m alive. It’s all because the blood of Jesus Christ covers me and raised this dead man’s life.” (Casting Crowns)