Last time, I shared a bit about my personal journey to understand what it means to remain in Jesus, and my coming to understand that when Jesus said “if you obey my commands,” he was not talking about obeying all that he taught which is recorded in the Bible (or even obeying the Bible itself) but rather obeying His voice. In fact, it is only by hearing and obeying God’s voice that we can ever move into the deeper abundant life Jesus promised.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. . . . apart from me, you can do nothing. . . . If you obey my commands, you will remain in [Me]
For years, I considered the above-quoted scripture as the most depressing passage of the Bible ever. During my regular Bible-reading, I would happen upon this passage, consider the prospect of remaining in Jesus, and conclude it was an impossible task — at least for me. After all, how was I suppose to obey Jesus’ commands, just as He had his Father’s? How was I suppose to be that good? Maybe one day I would achieve that level of perfection, but certainly not now.
In our last post we discussed the fact that faith is not an act of the will, a mere decision to believe without evidence. Were it so, it would be very difficult to have any faith at all. But faith is the evidence which compels the child of God to believe. It is not something to be mustered, but something that is imparted. Faith, for the child of God, is as natural as breathing.
The problem however is that this simple and natural act is constantly challenged in this life. The world is a hostile place: We are bombarded with countless distractions daily. I do not mean so much distractions in the sense of running my kids to the doctor, or spilling coffee on my brand-new suit jacket, or dealing with a crisis at work, things admittedly that can take away our focus, and cause us to forget to pray or, say, read our Bible. No, the distractions I am thinking of are of a more metaphysical nature. These are the messages that enter our consciousness and challenge what we, in the faith region of our hearts, know to be true.
Faith has the curious characteristic of not requiring all the difficult questions in life to be answered. The reason is that faith itself is the answer to the question that lesser questions seek. Continue reading “Faith: Our Sixth Sense”
I have a brother who says he would like to believe in God but cannot understand how a loving God would allow there to be suffering in the world. I have never asked him what suffering in particular he is referring to. It could be any of a number I suppose, but I suspect his objection might pertain to the one sister we lost to cancer several years back, or the brother we lost to a motorcycle accident several years before that. Continue reading “Faith in the Face of Suffering”