Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We crave clarity to avoid the risk of trusting

This week in our Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class (highly recommend it, this class is radically changing people’s “perspectives” on missions), we discussed our key world, “faithfulness”.  A great quote I just heard really summed it up well:  “We crave clarity to avoid the risk of trusting”.  I remember a conversation in college with one of the student government leaders. She wanted to know from God every aspect of her life (who she would marry, her job, etc).  But the Word says that it will be lamp and to my feet, and a light unto my path, not a giant spotlight, 2 miles down the road illuminating every pitfall, every blessing.   Why does God seem to place such a value on faith?  Why does Hebrews 11 tell us that without faith it is impossible to please God? Because only acting in faith does it show our true colors, our true motivations.  We crave clarity because it helps us avoid living in faith.  Living by faith is hard but it is essential to any relationship, how much more so for the most important one. 


In our class, we discussed the sufferings of virtually all missionaries as we took a look at 1 Peter.  Out of suffering, Peter penned this epistle to a church scattered by persecution throughout Asia.  God’s people have suffered, and only those with faith in God and a hope that this life was nothing compared to the “weight and glory” of heaven, could persevere.  Take one look at the many examples from Foxes book of Martyrs: “The account of John Huss: Accordingly, the bishops appointed by the Council stripped him of his priestly garments, degraded him, put a paper miter on his head, on which was painted devils, with this inscription, "A ringleader of heretics." Which when he saw, he said: "My Lord Jesus Christ, for my sake, did wear a crown of thorns; why should not I then, for His sake, again wear this light crown, be it ever so ignominious? Truly I will do it, and that willingly." When the chain was put about him at the stake, he said, with a smiling countenance, "My Lord Jesus Christ was bound with a harder chain than this for my sake, and why then should I be ashamed of this rusty one?" The flames were now applied to the wood, when our martyr sung a hymn with so loud and cheerful a voice that he was heard through all the cracklings of the combustibles, and the noise of the multitude. At length his voice was interrupted by the severity of the flames, which soon closed his existence.”  Faith will sustain someone through anything the evil one can fling. 


To answer the question, How do we build our lives upon faith in God? Nancy Missler, quoted on Chuck Missler’s website, Khouse, says:  “By daily choosing to walk in childlike dependence and trusting Him, even in the smallest of ways (Matthew 18:3); by being obedient to His Word (1 John 3:22); by appropriating His promises (Matthew 21:22; John 14:13-14; John 15:7); and, by loving others in His Name (Matthew 22:37).”  Real faith is not feeling, not seeing, not understanding and not knowing, but still trusting God. Real faith is being convinced that no matter what we see happening, no matter what we understand to be true, and no matter how we feel, God will be faithful to His Word and He will perform His promises to us, in His timing and in His way!


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