Monday, May 9, 2011

Faith is a Tricky Thing

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1: 8-9

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 22-23; 1 Peter 1

Faith is a fascinating thing to me. I have talked to many people about what I believe and when I explain the whole death and resurrection thing to folks I can see that glazed look pass over their eyes. After all, it is a pretty fantastic tale.

But that got me thinking. I wonder if faith in Jesus is harder for those of us who never saw Him in the flesh.
Maybe it was harder for those during his time. Like, what would I have thought if some dude from around the corner started claiming that he was the Son of God and started walking on water and raising folks from the dead; especially if I came from a faith that told me not to accept anyone who said that they were God.

Even Jesus himself said “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.” – Matthew 13:57

I can see how that was a hard sell; especially if folks were looking at the events with their minds rather than their hearts.

The more that I thought about this I came to the conclusion that there is no shortcut to get to faith. I think it was just as difficult for the folk in Jesus’ time to believe as it is for us to believe. Where they had the ability to see the things he did, or personally know folks who saw them; we have thousands of years of folks whose lives have been affected by faith in Him and his teachings.

The bottom line is this: when it comes down to it, faith is a choice.

We can choose to believe or not to believe. But the proof for me comes in what happens after that choice. Does the faith bear fruit? Are there undeniable things that come from that faith? Does that faith change your life in a way that could not have happened unless what you believe in is true?

The standard that I have for faith is this: if what I believe in does not take on a life of its own then it’s not worth believing in. This is how I approached the Bible when I was willing to walk away from it. I felt that it had to show me something tangible, it had to deliver what it promised, or else what good was it in my life?

And oh buddy has it delivered.

What do you believe in? What have those things brought into your life? 


  1. It is only truly faith if it does not bear fruit. That is when it is most difficult. Think Job, right?

    Some religious scholars say that God cannot present himself or create obvious miracles because it would take away choice and free will. It would be impossible to deny that God exists if he did these things. So He/She must not so that we can have the free will to have faith or to deny it.

    What do I personally believe? Still trying to figure it all out...

  2. Hands down the most confusing logic. If he showed us we would have to believe he was there, but no, god wants to be a ninja in the dark and hope we manage to walk past all the signs that perhaps this is all a lie. In short, our free will, if this is all true, is fucking us, and i for one would think free will can take one for the team and let us know he exists. Also, the job story, while it may have its little tid bit to get out of it, jus makes god look evil. Yeah, watch me shit all over this nice guy. Look, he still likes me.

  3. Ps, laughed at religious scholars

  4. @Anonymous and Danny

    "Yeah, watch me shit all over this nice guy. Look, he still likes me." hahahahah. I used to feel the same way about the Job story. I'm still trying to understand the point myself actually. Something that i was thinking about recently was the notion of the "fear of God" and how Job was all about getting some answers. He felt like he was good and righteous so why was he experiencing what he was experiencing. Then God comes in the last 3 chapters and brings the heat about how enormous he is and how could Job possibly come to any understanding of Him or his plan. It's a rather strange exchange except for the fact that deep within me I understand the need to trust God. I'm understanding that more and more. That's the foundation of faith... regarless of what it is... it is believing in something that we don't know to be true and holding firm to that belief. We do it with people in our lives, the history books that we read, and the scientific principles we have been convinced are true. I think if folks were to think about it more they'd be a bit horrified by how much of our behavior in life is based upon things we believe rather than things that we "know".

    We actually know very few things.

    Thanks for the comment.


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