Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see. … By faith we understand that the worlds were set in order at God’s command, so that the visible has its origin in the invisible.Hebrews 11:1, 3 NET
I’m grateful for a heritage of faith!
I have been blessed with family and friends who have spoken truth into my life … who didn’t just teach me “about” God, but lived lives full of fruit – evidence of the Spirit’s transforming work.
My mom, now deceased, showed me how to praise God even in the midst of a terminal illness. Her sisters, also deceased, lived out beautiful lives of testimony to a living God. I only knew one grandparent, my dad’s mom. She was faithful to her church, and kind. My dad is still generous, has the gift of service, such a gracious man. I am reminded of the Scripture that says, “since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses” … and while the writer of Hebrews was referring to the saints outlined in the previous chapter, I, too, have a personal cloud of witnesses to thank for my heritage … and who spur me on to good works!
Some think of faith in God as a crutch … and I agree somewhat – God is one to lean on. I love that old hymn … “leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.” I can’t imagine tackling the challenges of life without God’s help … without the confidence that there is someone who transcends me … transcends this world … someone who is not only the creator, but the one who holds the world together! But my faith is not a crutch – not a help – but instead, transformative power!
You might say, “What about doubt?” Or, “But what about the great darkness in this world?”
I like the line in Tennyson’s poem below … “And Power was with him in the night, which makes the darkness and the light, and dwells not in the light alone.” God made both light and darkness … he lives and reigns in the depths of darkness as well as in the bright light of day.
You say, but with no touch of scorn,
Sweet-hearted, you, whose light-blue eyes
Are tender over drowning flies,
You tell me, doubt is Devil-born.
I know not: one indeed I knew
In many a subtle question versed,
Who touched a jarring lyre at first,
But ever strove to make it true:
Perplext in faith, but pure in deeds,
At last he beat his music out.
There lives more faith in honest doubt,
Believe me, than in half the creeds.
He fought his doubts and gathered strength,
He would not make his judgment blind,
He faced the spectres of the mind
And laid them: thus he came at length
To find a stronger faith his own;
And Power was with him in the night,
Which makes the darkness and the light,
And dwells not in the light alone,
But in the darkness and the cloud,
As over Sinai’s peaks of old,
While Israel made their gods of gold,
Although the trumpet blew so loud.
~ Alfred Tennyson
“There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.” God understands our questions and doubts.
Faith is a gift, God’s gift to His redeemed, and for me, it has also been embedded in my heritage. I’m grateful today for faith!