Monday, October 19, 2009

Confusing Strong Faith

Faith. Why do believers loose it? Maybe we as believers confuse what strong faith really is. A teaching has gone on among believers that strong faith is unwavering. Remains constant. I love the sermon yesterday morning by Dr. Greg Cummings on Noah. He mentioned and stressed that strong faith is faith that is hanging on by a finger nail. It is faith that is at the foot of the cross. It is faith shakes us and moves us to the edge. I know that I personally have been hanging on by a finger nail. I know what it is like to doubt. I am here this morning to tell you what encouragement I received yesterday morning that if you are hanging on by a finger nail that you are still faithful. You are still strong. God isn't mad at you for hanging on by a thread. His grace in you is overflowing and sustaining. His love for you remains. God is pleased. One thing I over the past years have noticed like Noah is that God joins us in the boat. As Greg mentioned yesterday our boat is floating. God is with us. His grace sufficient. His hope for the future promising and solid. Praise God!!!!! I personally would like to thank Dr. Cummings for challenging us and giving us a message of hope.
I have also noticed that like Job I have been on the "ash heap" and have found God joining me there not absent. If you are experiencing trials in life right now and are hanging on by a thread or on the edge understand that God joins you in your trials. His grace, mercy, love and hope remains with you. Real faith. Strong faith isn't constant. Life isn't constant. It changes from day to day yet God's love and grace for you and the hope you have in Christ never changes no matter what we face.

Praise God today for His faithfulness to us! Thank God today for helping your boat float. Thank God today for joining us in our suffering and giving us just enough to hold on!

"Be watchful, stand firm on your faith; be courageous, be strong." 1 Cor. 16:13

What do you think: Why do you think that believers thing that a strong faith is constant? Why do we think that in order to be strong in our faith we must never doubt, question? What happens to our faith when we never doubt or question? What happens to our faith when we are never pushed to the edge? How has God helped your boat stay afloat and have you seen him join you on the "ash heap" of life? What did it do for you? Does it make you mad that some theology has pushed the idea that we can't doubt or question to have a strong faith? Why or why not?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.


Blogger Jeffrey Pinyan said...

You ask some thought-provoking questions, Kinney. Let me just lay some Catholic ground-work so that other readers know where I'm coming from:

"Faith is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and all that he has revealed to us and that the Church proposes for our belief because God is Truth itself." (Compendium of the Catechism, Q. 386)

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Heb. 11:1)

As St. Paul writes, we walk by faith and not by sight. (cf. 2 Cor. 5:7) Perhaps people lose sight of this fact (no pun intended), and expect that with greater faith they will be able to "see" more. Maybe they get to thinking that if they have strong faith, that makes them more self-reliant (instead of more God-reliant).

It's not unhealthy to ask questions about your faith, to seek to grow deeper in faith, but you must do so with a heart that is open to hear faith's answer (as opposed to being willing only to hear answers contrary to faith).

11:52 AM  
Blogger Kansas Bob said...

To me faith is encapsulated in my relationship with Jesus.. and like most relationships some days are better than others :)

12:46 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I appreciate your thoughts on this subject as always. Thank you for sharing your opinion on faith with us. I like the point you made about people loosing sight of what faith is about. I believe people in general struggle with self reliance instead of depence upon God especially when things get tough. Society tells us that if we rely on other things besides self we are weak. Yet Paul tells us "When I am weak, then I am strong." I think Paul definately understand faith that was hanging on the edge. It is crazy what he endured for Christ. Paul gives me strength when I face adversity. Again thanks for sharing. I greatly appreciate your oppinion.

1:27 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Kansas Bob,
I love your point about relationship and that there are good days and bad days. I know I personally have good days and bad days in my relationship with Christ. When faced with adversity and trials it seems at times those days are bad rather than good. I struggle yet trust. Thank you brother for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Jesus taught a little dab'l do ya. He compared faith to the smallest of seeds and even that tiny amount will get the job done.

Then I think of the guy who confessed "I believe but help my unbelief". He had pretty shaky faith but he got his child healed!

The "object" of our faith (Jesus/God) is far more important that anything else. Its quality over quantity.

9:49 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Great point of quality of quantity.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Excellent questions, Kinney, and helpful post!

Yes, we aren't real if we don't express our true feelings and thoughts to God. And being human means we doubt at times, not understanding, though as I understand it, we need to seek to hold on in faith to God's goodness. To be committed to that, even if everything inside of us screams otherwise.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

Faith is what upholds you and what you cling to, when it seems that everything around you is caving in. Faith is hope and trust in Jesus that no matter what, He really is still there.

Thanks for sharing these thoughts. And thanks for your encouragement to me. I don't often have as much time to catch up on blogs as I used to, but I'm always glad I stopped by! Blessings!

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