Faith… the New F Word.

Let me say this right up front… I don’t have all the answers.

Quite honestly, I don’t want to know all the answers either.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed what I consider to be a disturbing trend in Christian circles…

We want to know everything. Everything that happens, happens for a reason and we must figure out that what that reason is. God has some explaining to do.

Why does He, a loving God, send people to Hell? Why does He allow evil in this world? Why do so many people have to suffer? What is the meaning of life?

Let me ask a question of my own:

What is faith and what part does it play in our search for knowledge and understanding?

Hebrews chapter 11 starts out with this statement:

1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

This is the kind of statement that makes questioners squirm. When we want all the answers and need to understand everything that God does, we get ourselves in quite a pickle. I’m not saying for a second that asking questions is wrong. God can handle our questions.

If you read on through Hebrews 11, you’ll see stories of people who did things God asked them to do by faith. Many times these things seemed illogical or unpopular, but by faith these men & women obeyed God believing He would come through for them.

I’ve been reading through the Gospels recently and there are plenty of stories of Jesus healing people because of their faith. Jesus also says that we need to have faith like a child to enter into His Kingdom.

Faith seems to be pretty important in the Kingdom of God.

Now, let’s just get this out there… just because you question God or want answers doesn’t mean you don’t have faith. There is wisdom in seeking the truth, but it’s undeniable that faith is vital to our relationship with Jesus Christ.

You know, it’s easy to see why people struggle with God. If you’ve read any of the Old Testament, you know that God destroyed some people. He wiped out entire nations. He brought His wrath down on sinners many times. Then you read the New Testament… the stories of Him giving His Son up to die on a cross. The stories about love, healing, freedom. It can sometimes feel like we’re dealing with two different people.

It’s confusing, but His ways are not our ways. God can do whatever He wants, because He’s God. He’s holy, so whatever He does is holy too.

How do I know that? Because He said it.

Faith.

I’m believing that everything He’s doing, has done and will do fulfills His purposes. He doesn’t have to explain it to me. He’s God.

My experience has been when I’m struggling with faith or wanting answers, it’s because I’m trying to bring God down to my level. I want to think He’s just a regular guy, with struggles just like mine. I want us to be on an equal playing field, because it makes me feel like I’m not so bad.

The devil has been using that tricky logic for a long time. In Genesis 3 satan asks:

1b “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.

3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.

5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

We’ve had the desire to know everything for a very long time. God wasn’t trying to hide some amazing thing from us, He was protecting us from evil. He’s never stopped doing that. He wants what is best for us…

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.12 In those days when you pray, I will listen.13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

God’s okay with the seeking. Jesus said in Matthew 7:

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Ask away! Seek as often as you can! Knock on those doors, God is waiting to answer, be found and welcome you in.

Faith is the key, it opens the door to peace. Philippians 4 states it this way:

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

I’m not really saying anything profound here. I just needed to download some of my feelings about faith and wanted to put it out there and open a discussion about what faith means to us.

Where does faith fit into our seeking/questioning? Can we ask God questions without losing our faith? What does faith mean in your eyes?

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6 thoughts on “Faith… the New F Word.

  1. Anonymous says:

    All I know is, I was once filled with fear, and faith conquered it.

    We need to ask, seek, knock, but in my experience, God is asking, seeking and knocking too.

    Sometimes faith is being willing to obey, answer, and open our door to Him.

  2. Bill Moore says:

    At the start of your post you write:

    “Over the past few years, I’ve noticed what I consider to be a disturbing trend in Christian circles…

    We want to know everything. Everything that happens, happens for a reason and we must figure out that what that reason is. God has some explaining to do.

    Why does He, a loving God, send people to Hell? Why does He allow evil in this world? Why do so many people have to suffer? What is the meaning of life?”

    then you write at the end of your post:

    “Ask away! Seek as often as you can! Knock on those doors, God is waiting to answer, be found and welcome you in.”

    I guess I’m confused as to what kind of question asking your disturbed with. The quotes I’ve re-posted seem very serious and legitimate to me. I don’t think we can discount people who struggle with those questions. Ganted the answer might be “you must have Faith”, but the ability to accept that answer is a gift given only by the Holy Spirit.

    I also think that asking questions is an critcal part of what makes us human. I believe that the desire for knowledge is how God made us and is a component that helps to push us toward him.

    • Don’t disagree with your basic thoughts… but I would say this, our desire to know and understand all the ways of God are impossible. We can’t understand all there is to know about His character.

      Pursuing God is not the issue, but if you’re honest you can see where people have questioned and tried to reason things out about God’s character because they want Him to be like us, when the opposite is true… we are like Him. Created in His image.

      Jesus came to us as God in the flesh in order to save us and show us how to live. He gave us His Holy Spirit to live in us to guide us, teach, convict and empower us.

      Legitimate questions are all fine and dandy, but you know that the enemy can & will deceive us into sliding down a slippery slope if we’ve opened ourselves to it.

      I’ll point out again, because sometimes we like to complicate things: Jesus said that we needed faith like a child to enter His Kingdom. He didn’t say, “After I explain it all to you and we’ve given you a chance to figure it all out, then you can work on that child-like faith.” Jesus healed many and called many by faith to follow Him.

      The author of Hebrews celebrates those who by faith did things that challenged logical thinking or didn’t make sense. Building a huge boat where there is no water, having a child well into your 90′s, these are examples of faith.

      Questions are not a bad thing, but FAITH is a great thing!

  3. Dclayrm3 says:

    Great post, man. I was just thinking about this subject yesterday. I think sometimes the mysteries of the universe need not be explained, but the personal roadblocks; the ones where we question, “Why me?”, Why don’t I have this or that?”, What’s stopping me from getting closer to God?”etc…; need to be asked. I think those types of questions help you get closer to God and it helps you focus on areas of your life that need attention.

    I also think it’s good to wrestle with the Word. I think this brings you to a place where you work out your own salvation. Not to come up with your own doctrine, but to be able to settle issues within yourself that cause a lack of faith. The rabbis did it in the temple and we still do it today in homegroups.

    As I stated above, I think it’s good to question sometimes, but there comes a point where you have to say, “I believe it because God said so.”

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