“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith,
is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.
It’s our handle on what we can’t see.”
Hebrews 11:1 The MESSAGE
“Now faith brings our hopes into reality and becomes
the foundation needed to acquire the things we long for.”
Hebrews 11:1 TPT
“Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for,
the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 The VOICE
Yep! These three translations of the same NT verse are proof positive that we, the Church, are a peculiar people! I mean, how else to understand what the writer clearly intends? Minus a relationship with Jesus, a reader would easily conclude that there is a collective, unhinged ‘we,’ adrift from sane thinking. On the flip side, the collective ‘we’ is presented a formidable challenge. In the physical sense, we, like that reader, are mortals, flesh and blood, made from dust and there returning, but this thing, this faith we claim, plucks us up and out from the world’s securities and establishes, in us, a wholly other platform on which our lives emerge and thrive. (sorry, you’ll might need to read that again -I did, and I wrote it!)
Here’s the deal: Jesus repeatedly talked to his disciples about ‘living by faith,’ ‘abiding in the Vine,’ ‘trusting in him.’ Sweet! The catch is that our default is to ‘believe it only when we see it,’ and faith, in case you missed it, is the unseeable, firm foundation of life in Jesus! Faith isn’t one of a number of viable options. For us, it stands alone. And if we find ourselves in a quandary, trying to live for Jesus while hoping the world will provide what we want, we shouldn’t be surprised. When Jesus said to his disciples, “Without me you will accomplish nothing.” (Jn. 15:5, VOICE) he was clearly declaring his supreme role in the life of all his kids.
Our faith journey (and let’s be real, it’s an often-challenging journey) needs regular Kingdom tune-ups, reminders of who we really are and not who the Enemy says we are, divine jolts to get us back on track when we’ve veered off, and Holy Spirit, consoling love when we’ve failed. While it seems contradictory, somehow, it seems to me, God’s love for us burns hotter and His invitation to come to His heart calls more loudly in our struggles (remember, He is not willing that ANY should perish). It’s all of this together that makes us stronger in our most holy faith.
This rambling spins off my deep empathy for the disciples as they are deep in waiting for Jesus to return. It’s now been a whole week since he left them and they are still hiding out waiting in Jerusalem. Each one present is making choices, choices in their fledgling faith which is as yet relatively untried. It’s been a grueling seven days, a divinely beautiful, divinely ordained and grueling seven days. On that note, how’s your week going? PD