Sunday, July 31, 2005

Figuring out Faith

Time for a little "true confession". Sometime I feel like a complete failure as a Christian...especially with regards to faith. Oh not faith in God or if He exists...I absolutely believe in God. No doubt there. I guess I ought not to say that so glibly...since there was a time before I became a Christian...when my belief in God was not fully manifest. And there have been those dark times as a Christian...where I cry out to God..."Are you there God?".

But right now...I'm trying to figure out faith and how it intersects with believing God and trusting that he will answer my prayers.

Sometimes I almost feel envious of those folks in the so called word faith movement. They seem to have the ability to pray for something...and despite the current circumstances believe that God will answer their prayers just as they have asked.

I've never really been able to muster up that kind of faith. I know that God is servant to no one. That He is not obligated in any way to answer my prayers. It doesn't matter if I pray in some set manner or utter certain words...He is God and I am not. He will answer my prayers that He chooses to, in the manner in which He chooses to do so...in His time frame, not my own.

Yet...I know that I don't want to not ask God in faith...and get to heaven and find out all that God would have given me, but didn't, because I didn't ask.

I also can appreciate the idea of believing and focusing on the goal. I learned that from an athletic perspective. Now for those of you that know me personally...don't you dare laugh. Yes I fully acknowledge, I ain't going to be winning any marathons any time soon. Yet seven years ago when I started walking...it enabled me to lose weight and keep it off. I learned from walking and some running that when I focus on the goal that which is ahead of me...tune out the distractions around me...I can get to that goal. So belief, focus and faith are invaluable.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Yet... in Hebrews 11 the great chapter on faith, person after person is commended for their faith...faith in which they don't see answers to their prayers, nor do they see God's prophecies fulfilled during their lifetime.

Hebrews 11:39 "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised."

But their prayers were answered, God's promises were fulfilled...it was just in God's time, not their own.

I am a realist...and quite honestly there have been many prayers that God has said no to or has seemingly not answered. Now I will fully grant you that if you say that it's because I lack faith that He didn't answer my prayers...you may be right.

So my struggle and questions with faith and prayer continue. However...I feel like I've come to good place to be with it all. That is, knowing and believing that God is able to answer my prayers. Taking my needs, and even wants and desires to God in prayer. Yet...trusting God and saying, "Thy will be done." Accepting in peace that which gives me. (Some days that attutide is a struggle and evades me.)

I'm sure some days I'm like a small dog yapping at the heals of Jesus...and continuing to pester Him for that which so far He has not answered...at least not how I want Him to answer my prayers.

So a faith failure I may be...but at least I have a certain measure of peace and trust in God that I didn't previously hold.

1 comment:

David Warren Fisher said...

Susan: Thanks for baring your soul. I'll write more later but I just want you to know that I've been there, done that, and still find myself in that "place" even after living in complete dependance on God (with no human supports/salary, etc) for close to 20 years.

Thanks for making the journey with me.

Your friend and fellow pilgrim,

David

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