Surety of Faith
Then I ask, “Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings? You made us a little lower than you yourself, and you have crowned us with glory and honor.”
(Psalm 8:5 CEV).
As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. (Acts 17:2-4 NIV).
Some people, atheists and Christians alike, view faith as an arbitrary “blind leap” into darkness that has no relationship with reason, evidence or knowledge. I beg to differ! Who wants to step and fall into the unknown?
My family and I have a long relationship with leaping or falling. A while back I was maneuvering my way around the house in the dark, missed my turn down the hallway and fell headlong down a flight of 14 stairs landing on the hard concrete slab below. I remember the sensation of my foot finding only emptiness in the darkness as I began to take the plunge. I muttered simply “Oh no!” as I realized that I could not stop the fall by grabbing the handrail. My knowledge of gravity and of previous family falls flashed through my mind and I braced for the result of impact that would likely result in serious injury or death. My family lost two aunts to falls down flights of stairs. My aunt Evelyn taught me how to drink out of a straw when I was a young child. Shortly after visiting her, she fell and died. My mother late in life, living with Alzheimer’s, was petrified of falling. Surely, we are painfully aware of what can happen with an ill-timed slip, step, or leap. Fortunately, miraculously, or at least by God’s grace, I am alive to write this devotion and experienced no serious injury!
Our faith in God through Christ Jesus is not a journey into the unknown or a blind leap into a frightening abyss. Rather, we are invited to journey through this earthly life in a living relationship with the God who has called us forth into being. We are made in the image of God and this Creator desires relationship with us. I love the Contemporary English rendering that reminds us of humanity as the crowning joy of creation and that we are created so close to the very likeness of God. From scripture and the testimony of saints throughout the ages, including my own family members and spiritual mentors, I am assured that this Messiah Jesus is true and worthy of trust. Each day I take a new step of faith trusting in this One whom I do not physically see, but whom I am assured is with me. Relationships can be scary, but I would not want to walk this journey of life without the growing intimacy of a graceful relationship with God in Christ in whom I trust. Join me on this journey of life and faith one step at a time!
Gracious God, instead of fearing the unknown future ahead, help us to trust and lean upon you allowing us to sing, “what a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms,”
courage to share with others this relationship of trust in you that we have come to know. Amen.