12 Nov 2020
In the last sharing, we looked at the faith of Abraham who lived, as a pilgrim and ‘alien’, in tents, and even though his faith looked to the city of God, yet he did not live like his descendants in cities in the land of promise in his lifetime. We saw how, like the patriarchs, we too live in this world, as citizens of heaven and yet, we have not ‘reached’ the world we are looking for.
We are told in Scripture that the ‘just shall live by faith’ and ‘faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’ (Heb.11:1). Jesus Himself said that ‘blessed are those who do not see and yet believe’. We need to realise that God tells us merely as much as He sees we need to know for our life of faith. And He leaves some of the problems and perplexity unsolved to teach us how to humbly trust Him in His character and promises.
In this recent covid-19 crisis, many in this world ended up mentally and emotionally stressed and distressed. As believers, we too might suffer from this if we lose sight of what is required of us to walk by faith.
We should not abandon faith in what God has taught us just because we cannot solve all the problems and have all the answers which faith raises. It is not for us to stop believing because we cannot understand all we desire to understand or to postpone believing until we can get understanding. Augustine was reported to have said, “Unless you believe, you will not understand’.
William Gurnall wrote “The Christian in complete Armour” and this book is noted to be one of the best ever written on the subject of spiritual warfare. Read what he had to say: “If faith is the work of God above all others, then unbelief is the work of the devil. The devil works harder to make men unbelievers than drunkards or murderers. And despair is unbelief at its worst. Unbelief among sins is as the plague among diseases, the most dangerous, but when it settles into despair, then it is like the plague which brings certain death with it. Unbelief is despair in the bud, but despair is unbelief at its full growth….Only faith can see God in His greatness; and therefore nothing but faith can see the promises in their greatness because their value lies in its worth of God who makes them….Where there is faith to chase the promise, there the promise will give comfort and peace in abundance”.
Let us ask God to grant us grace to continue to live by faith, and not by sight and to persevere and endure with the hope (faith in the future) brightly ‘burning’ in our hearts and lives.