'Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods.' — C.S. Lewis
Just a simple thought for the rest of you day...
So much in our life is dictated by our particular mood at the precise moment of contact with a situation. If our mood is reasonable, both the good and bad things are met with optimism and forward thinking. If our mood is poor, the good things are met with diminished effect, and the bad things in life are made much worse. Optimism through adversity should be a natural state of mind for the follower of Christ. Although the story of the Bible is typically one of great struggle, we have a reason, as Christians, to be optimistically forward thinking.
Name for me a time that God has ever failed?
Look throughout scripture and find an occurrence where God's power and might fell short of the goal?
It's never happened, and it never will.
Faith is often a balancing act of the recognition of God's unfathomable strength and abilities versus the faith-killing distractions and fragile moodiness that we often experience in our weakness. The reality is, God's power isn't diminished by our weakness and bad moods, and thank God for that! God's Word says that His power is made perfect in our weakness.
(2 Corinthians 12:9).
You can't base your faith on how you feel. What would have been the outcome if Jesus Christ would have based His love for mankind on how He felt...specifically at the moment when mankind was driving nails into His innocent body? What if God's love for us was based on how He felt when He had to turn His gaze away from Christ on the cross because of our sin?
God's love for us isn't based on our silly, childlike and destructive moods, and our perception of the power of faith shouldn't be altered by our momentary bad attitudes. If our mood diminishes our faith in Almighty God, then our mood has become our God...if only for a moment. And, in that moment, Satan scores a victory, and we take a step away from God.
Do you have a circumstantial faith? If your faith is dictated by your current situation, then you're in for a life of disconnect from the power of Almighty God. If so, how is your relationship with Almighty God? English evangelist, Anthony Farindon, once said, “Talk what we will of faith, if we do not trust and rely up Him (God), we do not believe in Him.” Could that be the cold hard truth for many whose faith is only as strong as the circumstances would dictate? Possibly…however, I don’t believe that every person who struggles with faith is lost. But, I would submit that those who struggle with faith are struggling in their walk with God. Like me, and everyone else, our personal walk with the Almighty is often hindered by the tragedies of this life. Distraction, confusion, and a robust sin nature often all work in tandem to damage a healthy walk with Christ, and, thus, diminish the effectiveness of our faith.
God has greater plans for us all, and be aware that those plans will often require a tedious walk through adversity. It's coming, so prepare for it with diligence. When you meet that adversity, be optimistic. Find some foundational peace in the promises of God and let faith arise. Child of God...remove the scowl from your face, quit whining and complaining, stop rolling around in self-pity and ignorance, and let God's plan proceed and produce in you something of worth! We often live as if the tomb is still occupied. Live in the reality that “His body isn’t there.” Have some faith. Christ overcame death; what circumstance do we perceive that is beyond His ability?
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." — 2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)
Days here can seem long, but life is short. In fact, when compared to the eternity before us, life is but a whisper. So, the troubles here are only momentary, but, for those who have made Christ Lord, there’s an eternal glory coming. But, do we live our life as an eternal being, or are we trying to squeeze the Joel Osteen “your best life now” mentality out of our numbered days here on this earth? Frankly, I don’t care to have my best life now; I would prefer my best life to start when I enter into the presence of Jesus.
Earthly life is full of circumstances. As of late, most of those circumstances are ominous. If our delicate security, happiness, and faith is held in the hands of the ever changing circumstances of this life, then we are not secure at all, and we’re certainly not happy. We won’t even discuss how our faith is often very loosely tied to the above examples, but, needless to say, our faith, when we’re insecure and unhappy, is also shaken. Consequently, if we are living our life as an eternal being, and our foundation is grounded in the sovereignty of God, then let the bad circumstances come. We can’t stop Satan from trying to ruin our day, but we cannot allow him to let earthly circumstances dictate our eternal faith.
Live life as a conqueror, because you are! Be reminded that God’s Word says this regarding our response, in faith, to life’s troubles…
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
Defeat is only one weak moment of faith away. Victory is found in the renewing of your faith daily. Keep the promises of God closer to your heart than the disabling fear of circumstances. The words of the verse above is a firm promise that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. The bigger question: Is Christ Jesus Lord?
“The only way to learn strong faith is to endure great trials.” – George Muller
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!