Keeping the Faith
Growing up, a favorite movie of mine was called Keeping The Faith. It was about two best friends, of different faiths, navigating their lives and friendships as they each grew into different belief systems. I always found it funny that this movie paralleled the relationship of me and my lifelong best friend, as we were both of different faiths, but were constantly in the middle of refining each of our belief systems, and each other, as we matured. To be honest, there is not a lot of substance to the movie, outside of humor, but the premise is one that I try not to take lightly. Keeping the faith, through the ups and downs of life, is key, as we grow towards the purpose God has for each of us. Laying in bed the other morning, I began to reflect on why it is so hard for us to hold on to the thing that Jesus called us to have, so frequently in His Word. For those of you who do not know me that well, I have anxiety issues, and a brain that won’t shut off, so I lose a lot of sleep over various issues. Laying in bed, thinking about stuff, is nothing new for me. Anyway, back to faith. Jesus told us (disciples) to have faith and believe. Jesus also pointed out times when we (disciples) had little faith. You may be saying to yourself, “but I am not a disciple. That was Peter and John and them.” Make no mistake, when you accept Jesus Christ, you are now one of “them.” So the rub. Why do we struggle so much, throughout our faith journey (faith is in the title) to maintain this trust in what we cannot see? The dictionary definition of FAITH is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. For Christians, that someone is Jesus. That something is knowing that His love and purpose is greater than anything that we can, have, or will face in this life. No questions. That is the truth. As a Christian, though, I have still found myself lacking in the trust department, countless times. Why? I believe it is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being in control. Fear of putting our trust in a power so great, we could never conceive. Fear that we will never be enough. Fear that He is too much. Fear can immobilize not only our movement, but also our testimony. In Mark 5:36, Jesus said “don’t be afraid, just believe.” There was a great loss, and those surrounding Him questioned the value of adding another stress to his already burdensome load. Moments before giving this directive, Jesus had expressed a similar peace to the woman that had suffered for many years, saying “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed of your suffering.” In the span of 3 verses, Jesus has illustrated the vitality of putting our hope in the spotless lamb. These words resonate across the 2000+ years since Jesus spoke them, to the very same fear that cripples us today. In 1 John 4, we are told that “there is no fear in love.” Only 11 verses prior to this assertion, John tells us the “God is love.” That is a simple concept, we can wrap our minds around. The more we keep our eyes trained on Him, the more we are filled with the love of the Father, the less space that can be filled by the lies and deceit of this world. Like the song says, “fear is a liar.” Don’t believe it. Instead, know that you are made in His image. You are His. Believe.