The Journey of Faith - Part 1

LISTEN TO EPISODE 12 HERE.

In regards to our spiritual lives, there is a critical element necessary for growth, but one we often avoid or really struggle with. So, what’s this critical element?

It’s FAITH!

There may be no other ingredient in our Christian journey as critical as faith. We can get a lot right, but if we miss this, then we are missing what God is calling us to. Who we are in Him, and how we live that out, will always outweigh what we do for Him.

For Christians, it’s really important to recognize that faith is not some discretionary add-on that makes our spiritual walk better. Rather, faith is very fabric of our identity in God.

Yet, it’s hard to overlook the fact that faith can seem really hard to grasp at times. We can often mentally understand that it is an anchored belief in things we cannot see or even fully understand from our current vantage point, but the sheer fact that these things exist outside of what we can see, touch, hear, or fully understand can make it hard for us to rest in those things.

But, God is not asking us to trust in things we don’t see. The invitation is to trust in Him…and that changes everything!

True faith means that you will not have all the information your natural man or your human senses so desperately want at times. This can be challenging. And frankly, this is why it is so easy to miss.

What Faith is Not:

  • Faith is not dependent on how you feel.
  • Faith is not the promise of a clear or certain outcome...or even a good outcome.
  • Faith is not blind. It's not linked to an empty hope, but to our certainty of a Sovereign God.
  • Faith is not wishful thinking. 

God is always faithful. He sometimes, or even most of the time. He is faithful by nature. For these reasons...

What Faith is:

  • A currency
  • An invitation
  • A doorway
  • A response

As a famous mathematician once said, "In faith, there is enough light for those who want to believe, but enough shadows to blind those who don't."  In other words, there is always room for someone to choose doubt or faith when referring to a belief that is not evident to our sense or in alignment with human reason.

With this in mind, let's talk about some common obstacles that often surface in our faith journey.

Common Faith Obstacles

  • God is not going to always make sense. Because of this, faith and reason will at times be incompatible. We want logic, certainty, order, but God sometimes says, "I’d like you to do it a different way. Will you trust me?"
  • Hardship and sufferings may at times contradict what we believe and hope. And we’ll be left asking, "how could a good God allow this degree of pain?"
  • Another obstacle is the reality of doubt. As Elizabeth Elliott once said, “Faith does not eliminate questions. Faith simply knows where to take them.”

Our faith journeys, while very similar in many regards for many of us, will also be very different for each of us. Some people may easily draw near to God and be able to embrace some aspect of his person or his plan, but that may not be the case for someone else (and vice versa). Everyone's faith journey will look different and unfold at a difference pace and different way. 

Faith is not something we have to fabricate on our own. And though it is an invitation that needs a response, we can’t grow our own faith any more than we can actually grow our produce. God is the author and perfector of our faith. So, while we can plant and water the right seeds, we don’t determine the fruit that follows.  We can’t cause the mustard seed of faith to yield a certain output. But, we can seek to continually be transformed by the renewing of our minds. 

So, what does it look like to grow in your faith? And what can do in the here and now?

Check back next week for part 2 of this conversation, where Claudia answers these questions!

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