(excerpt from “If You Forget, Remember”)
Faith is A Bridge
Faith, like any bridge, is only as good as its destination. Men lack sincerity when they speak of faith with no end or destination. Our society speaks highly of bridges to nowhere because to assume a destination, is to make a claim. And we are in a peculiar time where making claims is not seen as bold and courageous, but ignorant and intolerant. Perhaps we are scared of admitting there is a destination so we ignore the obvious – all bridges end.
Whatever the philosophical reason, many men have been shrewd enough to know that faith is important but too cowardly to think the implications through.
Faith has suffered (as much as words can) at the hands of such men. For true faith is not simply manufactured it is born from a God that has made promises. Faith is a result of a God that chose to reveal His only son at the cost of seeing Him spit on, torn, and crucified. Faith certainly has its ends.
The creature of faith does not only hope but has promises to fuel his hope. Faith gives flesh to our feelings that the world ought to be different, that God must be acting and that resurrection means certain things.
Faith Is a Story
Faith is the story of a man that was about to take his own son’s life because he had gone to the edge and found the cliff still subject to His savior. When Abraham drew his knife over his only son, he no doubt felt a lot of things. He likely felt fear, and doubt, and perhaps anger too. Yet, he knew faith otherwise he would have thrown the knife to the ground, embraced his son and done the practical thing. Yet, there, looking down at what he had hoped for through many years of pleading, Abraham must have remembered faith. While He did not have the vantage point to see a cross and the sacrifice fully made, Abraham walked with a God that spoke, that acted, that loved, and that promised things.
Faith is this story.
It is not the practical outworking of Abraham but it is the trust that a God that promises good things, does good things, and loves His work, must have a way to work it all out in the end. The “end” we speak of is pinnacle. For the “end” is not what we often talk about at funerals and hospitals. The end is not death and mourning. The cross was not the end nor was the tomb.
The bridge does not end there.
So perhaps when Abraham looked down at his son whose eyes already looked like Sarah’s, he knew regardless of “that end”, the true end must be beautiful. And that’s the secret you and I must learn. We must pray that our hearts would not be so flimsy to think we understand the end, and what’s next and what God is “really” up to. We don’t.
Faith Is a Mystery
For faith to be truly miraculous we must confess the mystery we find hiding in every corner. The life of a Christian is mysterious. There is no way around this for there is no way around God. Therefore, it only follows that for faith to be genuine we must recognize that we will not know the “why” for tomorrow but we can trust in the “why” for the end.
This is either enough or it is not. There are no half bridges of faith: half trusting and half doubting. This is not to say we cannot doubt. But this is to say we must be honest with our doubt and our faith. Prayer is the vehicle here. No man can cultivate faith if his heart does not plead with his God. Prayer invites us to be honest with God about our faith and our doubt. It is in this honesty that we admit our doubt and therefore grow in faith. What mystery! Yet, the man that cannot whisper his doubts is far behind the man who pleads with God for more faith.
Faith is promised.
When we think and talk about the work of our Savior we must not forget who the chief worker is. Christ sits at the helm of our heart. For each child laid at the foot of our Father, not one is lost by the great shepherd. This means that faith is being worked out in each of us, at different times, for different reasons. We do not have this promise to become apathetic, but so we do not grow disappointed in our lack of faith. For we are fickle! We doubt, and forget, and lack faith. Yet the good promise of faith is that it is secure because we need it. And nothing the King’s children need, do they lack.
Faith is in a Man and it’s for you. Remember that.