This is the second part of a discussion on faith. Yesterday, I discussed how we can come to a firm faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – by spending time in the Word of God. Yes, I believe it is that simple: John wrote his Gospel in order to build faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and Paul, with his inspired pen, tells us that faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. Today, I want to write about the blessings which come from our faith.
I had coffee at Starbucks today with my friend. He and I didn’t really have time to discuss the genesis of faith or the depth of my faith. Instead, we sipped coffee for a few minutes before he had to go to an appointment. We’ll talk tomorrow, and I’m prayerful that we can set a time to discuss faith and how to build faith. But, I also want my friend to know that there are real blessings which flow from our faith.
Here are just a few of the blessings I know from my faith:
I’m not going to lie – If I thought I were just some goo that climbed from some pre-organic soup, I might check out of this world. If life has no purpose, why keep living with the pain and suffering we experience in this world? I know, however, that God has a purpose for my life – His glory – and that I shall stand victorious with Him in the end. I know the tomb was empty. I know the Lord is coming again. Oh, my faith tells me this life has a real and abiding purpose.
I know my momma reads this, and I’d like to keep this from her, but today has been horrendous. The pain has been severe. I had to go downstairs this morning when no one else was here (please don’t let my mother or my neurologist know I did something so foolish), and I couldn’t lift my legs to get up the stairs, nor could I lift my foot over the garden hose draining the dehumidifier to go outside the basement door – I was stuck, so, I did the only thing I knew to do: sat down on the steps and pushed myself up the stairs with my arms. My legs have barely moved at all today. The pain – oh, the pain! – has been my constant companion today.
Yet, if I am perfectly honest, I don’t know what problems are – this morning I was concerned about my family’s financial security since I am no longer working and my own painful disorder. That was before I received word that a friend’s son passed away in his sleep over night. Nope, I have no problems, and I don’t understand problems.
But, I know (yes, I know) that one day all problems – perceived or real – shall be vanquished by the One on the throne. He will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and we shall dwell with Him for an eternity.
As I journey through life, I know that all will be made right in the end. I know I shall be with God. I know I shall see loved ones who died in Christ. Faith permits me to look beyond this transitory existence and look forward to the Paradise of God.
I remember as a kid how excited I would get to go see my grandparents in Indiana; I was excited this past summer to go with my family to Niagara Falls, Ontario (until I discovered how much they tax tourists!); I was excited to spend a few days with my wife’s parents in Tennessee this past July. But, nothing — NOTHING – compares to the expectation of being with God.
Because I know that Jesus Christ is Lord, I can pray with the knowledge that God hears and that God has the power to help. God can, like He did with Hezekiah, answer my prayer with great ability.
Terrorist attacks. Natural disasters. Disease. Presidential elections. No matter what happens, God is on His throne. With my deep faith, I’m able to look at the world through a lens of God’s governance. No, I don’t know why God allows bad things to happen (Job tried to find out, remember? And after Yahweh spoke from a whirlwind, Job decided it was best to keep silence), but I know that He reigns.
Terrorists may seek to frighten; God is still God. My earliest memory is of a tornado coming through my neighborhood (an F2); God was still God then, and He is still God. My body suffers neurologically and only God knows what other suffering lies in my future; yet it will be faced with the knowledge that God is still God. I’m not keeping up with the crazy Presidential election (I hear enough to know some candidates need more Prozac) – I’m not following the election because I don’t care who wins (really – it makes absolutely no difference to me) – you may get upset, but I don’t even plan to vote – God raises and abases leaders, not my vote at the ballot box (that has become a strong belief of mine, and my wife and I have finally agreed to disagree). Regardless of who wins, God is still God.
I know that I’ve barely touched the hem of the garment as to the blessings of faith, but these are the major ways that faith blesses my life. What else should I add to share with my friend?
I pray for my friend. I pray that he may find faith in the One who never changes. I pray that he will walk with God and allow God to walk with him as He has walked with me.