Monday, September 03, 2018

And others....

The topic of faith and what it looks like is quite confusing in our day.  For many faith is tied to outcomes.  It says, "if you have enough faith..."  In this view your faith is measured by quantity and judged by the outcome of what you believe.  "Well, I guess you just didn't have enough faith" is a frequent response to outcomes adverse to what the person was believing for.  It's a cruel system built on performance and results.  In this system it's your faith that gets it done and if it isn't done it's your fault.

But the Bible speaks of faith in such a different way!  The focus of Biblical faith is not the outcome, but the object.  In other words, it's not how much faith you have (Jesus said it didn't take much) but who your faith is in that matters.  If it only takes a mustard seed of faith to move a mountain it must not be the size of your faith that matters at all, but who your faith is in!  It's not the outcome of faith that is important, it's the object.

We miss that so easily.  Even in the chapter on faith, Hebrews 11, we easily see the faith giants based on outcomes, but none of them saw the outcomes they believed for and in fact, in this grand hall of faith are some who, in our day, would be told, "well, I guess you just didn't have enough faith..."

Here is their testimony from God,

"...And others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them! —making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours."

God testifies of these 'others' that their faith would be rewarded as well even though it would appear they were complete failures at this faith thing!  "If you just had enough faith" seems a silly statement when you read about great men and women like this! Homeless? Wanderers? Murdered? In prison?  

Could it be it's not the outcome of faith but the object of faith that is the most important thing?  Could it be the poor widow who put in two pennies for the offering, all she had, was a great woman of faith even though she had nothing?  Could it be we have looked at faith all wrong in our day?  

It's not the outcome, but the object of faith that is the key to a faith that God will praise in his grand hall of faith on that day.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

A wonderful old hymn, just sung to me by Rainy: “Have faith, hope and charity, that’s how to live successfully......”. Being a doer, not just a hearer is certainly a grand object! Thanks, Mike for your continuous doing!