Last week, we had a study on faith. The scripture from Hebrews has been on my mind constantly. I have been doing a lot of thinking about faith. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 answers the question in this way. "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
Ever since I was a teenager I have heard people say "If you have enough faith you can......(be healed, get out of debt, overcome an addiction, etc. etc). And many times as a new believer, I saw praying people, who had faith, not get their prayers answered in the way that they had asked. I always wondered if perhaps they just didn't have enough faith. If I was in an overwhelming situation, would I have enough faith to get my prayers answered? Just how much faith does it take to bend God's will?
In the desert called cancer, I finally learned the answer to my questions.
"Faith is being sure of what we hope for." What do I hope for? Well, to be honest, I hope this chemo worked. I hope the cancer doesn't come back. I hope I get to see my sweet Jayda walk down the aisle in her wedding dress and little Logan graduate from high school. But I can't be sure of that. For I don't know God's will for my life. I can't bend His will. Nor do I want to. In the desert, I learned that "God's ways are higher than my ways, His thoughts higher than my thoughts." When I gave my control over to Him and surrendered to His will for my life, my hope then became placed in Him alone. I hope that no matter what turn the journey road takes, He will walk with me each step of the way. My faith allows me to be sure of it.
The other half of the scripture says "Faith is being certain of what we do not see." During the children's time Sunday morning, I used a few illustrations to help them understand this concept.
Take the telephone, for example, I can pick it up and talk to someone half way across the country. I don't understand how it works, but I know it does. I don't understand how I can talk to God who is in Heaven and He can talk back to me but I know He does.
A bottle of medicine. How does it know exactly where to go and what to do when it gets there? I have no idea. I just know it does. I don't understand how God can heal the deepest hurt and pain in my life, but I know He does.
I have no idea how Carl can sit in a chair with a remote control and control the TV from across the room . Neither do I understand how God can sit on His throne in Heaven and control everything here on earth. I don't understand it, but I know that He is in control.
Even though these are simple examples, they so clearly illustrate faith. I can't see God. I can't understand His plan. I can't bend His will. And sometimes that's really tough. Perhaps His healing is not a physical healing, but a healing of the heart. Perhaps overcoming an addiction, first requires, cleansing the soul before cleansing the body. Perhaps getting out of debt, first requires losing all we have in order to to realize that He is all we need.
Faith is not measured in amounts. It is not about believing hard enough to get what we want. It is simply placing our hope in His perfect plan for our lives, and being certain that, even though we can't see it now, His plan is far better than our plan.