A Pastor's Word: Faith

I say faith is a burden
It's a weight to bear
It's brave and bittersweet
And hope is hard to hold to 
Lord, I believe, only help my unbelief

Faith, we read, is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see. 

Faith is what those of old were commended for; Abel, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and more. 

Faith is what we see in the Roman Centurion who asks Jesus to heal his servant. And the Canaanite woman who begs for Jesus to free her daughter from a demon. 

Yet, with these examples before us, we somehow mistake faith for something easy. Something we can get once and for all. Something we can possess. 

In my experience faith is something I must struggle for and cling to. Rather than possessing faith I am continually holding it out to God, doing my best to take him at His word, despite all that stands against such trust, and waiting, holding my breathe, to see if He will come through yet again. 

I am called to "faith in," not just "faith." Faith in God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Faith in His promises and presence and person. And, therefore, also faith against all that stands in the way. 

In the end, the struggle of faith is the struggle to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. This is the lesson Peter learns in Matthew 13. And so the call to faith is the call to adventure, the call to brave uncertain waters where only He is certain:

"Yes, we Christians are adventurers of a higher order. Everything is uncertain, nothing is sure, except this One Man, who is with us in the ship and at the same is our goal. One look away from him - and our ship becomes an uncanny, alien place, drifting in a void. One look at him - and the strange and alien becomes familiar. We do not understand the navigation, true enough; but we know the Navigator."
- Helmut Thielicke, The Waiting Father. 

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