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O femeie scrie cu sessibilitate despre o problemă universală:
FAITH IN THE NIGHT SEASONS: WHAT IS FAITH?
(The following is excerpted from Nancy Missler’s book Faith In The Night Seasons.)
Few subjects in the Bible are more important for us to understand than that of faith. The dictionary tells us that faith is “confidence or trust in a person or thing.” Since human trust has been greatly abused in this world, many people have chosen to put their faith in “something” rather than “someone.” This should never be true of the believer.
God has not called His people to rally around a belief system, but to place their trust in a Person. If Christians are to endure to the end, we must understand that the one and only key to our survival is faith – faith in the Person of Jesus Christ.
My favorite definition of faith is summed up by the words of Paul in Romans 4:21, “being fully persuaded that, what (God has) promised, He (will be) able also to perform.” Regardless of what we see, hear, feel or think, true faith is choosing to believe that God will do whatever He says He will do! Consequently, faith is a radical reliance upon God.
The farmer plants seed in complete faith that there will be a harvest, and believers bury their loved ones in faith that God will raise them up in eternity. Our choice to believe is based upon the character of God. Just as Abraham believed God would be faithful to His promise and make of his offspring a “great nation,” so he chose to believe God would somehow save his son in order to accomplish that promise.
We are asked to believe in, act upon and walk out God’s promises by faith. And, even if we might not see them being fulfilled in the way we thought, He still calls us to believe.
Other Scriptural definitions of faith include:
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, (and) the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1) or, as another translation put it, “faith is being sure of what we hoped for and certain of what we do not see.”
Faith is “judg(ing) Him faithful Who (has) promised.” (Hebrews 11:11)
Faith is “endur(ing), as seeing Him Who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27)
Can you see the giant leap that is required to move from our natural thought processes to a supernatural faith in God? Be assured, this kind of faith comes from experience. A high jumper doesn’t start with the bar at maximum height, but little by little, He raises it until the day his body achieves excellence. If he is faithful in the small things, then his skill will be steadily increased. And it’s the same with us. If we are faithful in the small things, then our faith will also be steadily increased.
St. John of the Cross expresses it this way:
“Faith is a gift from God that enables us to go beyond our reason into the reality of the Divine…It’s a personal loving relationship with God and becomes the bond that links us to others.”
The question we must ask ourselves is: Are we building our lives upon faith in God, or are we building our lives upon faith in our own natural skills, strengths, intelligence and abilities?
How do we build our lives upon faith in God? By daily choosing to walk in childlike dependence and trusting Him, even in the smallest of ways (Matthew 18:3); by being obedient to His Word (1 John 3:22); by appropriating His promises (Matthew 21:22; John 14:13-14; John 15:7); and, by loving others in His Name (Matthew 22:37).
Real faith is not feeling, not seeing, not understanding and not knowing, but still trusting God. Real faith is being convinced that no matter what we see happening, no matter what we understand to be true, and no matter how we feel, God will be faithful to His Word and He will perform His promises to us, in His timing and in His way!
Real faith is allowing God to be God. It’s allowing God to do in our lives all that He needs to do, good or bad from our point of view, in order to conform us into His image. Real faith is allowing God to strip us, flay us and crucify us, if that’s what is needed to purge and sanctify our soul from sin and self.
David Hazzard clarifies what real faith is:
“There is a clear line of distinction between true faith, which is set on things above and cannot be shaken, and the meager thing we call faith, which rests on our human understandingand so it is a thing that is rooted in our life here below. If you want to grow in spirit, you must cross this line. What we normally mean by faith is really only our soul’s ability to form thoughts about God. Real faith is the ability to see with the eyes of (our spirit).”
The classic verse that validates Hazzard’s declaration is Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
True faith allows God to do all that He needs to do in order to make us holy so that we can dwell in and enjoy His presence. True faith accepts God’s night seasons as part of His will towards us in order to accomplish His will in us. And, at the same time, faith clings to God’s promises of a future “new” day.
Faith is the unequivocal strong conviction that, no matter what happens, God will never leave us or forsake us. True faith ravishes the heart of the Lord, and the man or woman who exhibits such faith will surely “walk through the wilderness leaning on the breast of their Beloved.” (Song of Solomon 8:5 NAS)
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