|Vol. 13 No. 7 July 2011||
I recently read a note from a fine young Christian lady. She talked about a difficult time in her life, as well as a difficult time she is now facing. In the context of all that, she told of speaking to a coworker who told her the following:
“Friend, you keep that chin up. This too shall pass, and when it does, you’ll be on the other side of it, standing a stronger and wiser woman for it. The Lord hasn’t lost control of things, so don’t you lose faith in Him. Just keep that chin up.”
I hung up the phone with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, thinking of how ashamed of myself I was. At what point had I lost my faith?
The young woman went on to state that it still took her time to come around, and that eventually her problem was overcome. She also noted that she did not have trouble with her faith in the good times and when things went well, but let it slip when things were bad. She said: “I had forgotten that faith was a work, and that just saying ‘I have faith’ isn’t enough.”
Another young Christian woman replied to her with these words: “It’s so easy to forget that! That’s why so many people do give up faith and turn to the world for answers, taking themselves further and further away from the peace they need.”
These young ladies made me think of what keeps faith alive and viable. What will kill faith?
If we do not feed faith, it will die. We feed faith by keeping a constant diet of the Word of God. We feed faith by keeping an open communication with God through prayer. We feed faith by taking advantage of Christian friends and letting them help us. Like anything that is alive, a living faith requires that we feed it.
If we do not exercise faith, it will die. We have to live faith. It must permeate every phase of our lives, and every fiber of our beings. We need to exercise faith as we enjoy the blessings of life, and recognize that they are from God. We must exercise faith when it is difficult and things look the bleakest. It will die if we do not live it. It is a work that we must do.
If we do not spread our faith, it will die. I could not help but think about the spiritual maturity of these two twenty-something women. I thought with pride that they are the Eunice of today, and the Lois of tomorrow (2 Timothy 1:4). If we do not spread our faith to those around us, to the best of our abilities, then our faith will die. It is not possible for us to have a living faith, and for others not to see it. Sometimes, my wife will remove a plant from one pot and put it in another because it has roots that are outgrowing the pot it is in, and it needs room to grow. Our faith must have roots that are growing strong and firm, and that cannot be contained simply in ourselves.
Faith is indeed a work. We have to actively decide to have faith, feed that faith, exercise that faith in our daily lives and spread that faith to others. Then, faith is truly the victory that helps us overcome the world.
It’s so easy to feel good when things are calm and peaceful, when birds are singing, when the sun is rich and warm. But when things are not so calm and peaceful, when fear and doubt and loneliness fall like flames, it’s not so easy to feel good. One thing is for certain, however, even in the midst of a dark and stormy night, Christ died for us! That will never change. As long as we live and breathe that will never change. No matter what we are facing, no matter how difficult things become, Christ loved us so much He died for us. That great sacrifice makes us priceless in the eyes of a God so strong He created the universe with the sound of His voice, a God so intelligent He composed the greatest love story ever told, a God so limitless He knows the end from the beginning. We are indeed priceless, even when we may not feel like it, even when we believe all hope is lost. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8-9 NKJV).