Monday, October 7, 2013

Biblical faith .......................... Parables 028

This week my daughter remarked, “I wonder if it will ever stop raining?” I responded with, “God said He’d never again destroy the earth with a flood!”

Later, as I thought about this conversation, two things came to mind. First, many people are either optimistic or pessimistic. An optimist determines to find something pleasing, even in difficult circumstances. In contrast, a pessimist will find something wrong with even the happiest of occasions.

Secondly, both optimists and pessimists have some kind of faith. One believes that the sun will shine again. The other believes that we will never see another sunny day. Both have “faith” in something, however the foundation for that faith is rather unclear.

Biblical faith is not the same. Although it is described as “the evidence of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1), this assurance is not vague and unfounded. It is an assurance that rests upon the character of God and the reliability of His promises. This faith is not focused on the unseen that we hope will happen, but on the Person who controls the unseen and who is sovereign over all happenings.

The optimist, relying on the past or his own hopes, will say, “Everything will turn out okay.” This statement sounds good but has no certain foundation. It jumps over problems, hoping to reassure but without any solid base for encouragement.

The pessimist will say, “I just knew this would happen,” expecting the worst, and sounding almost glad to have his “faith” affirmed.

Biblical faith looks beyond circumstances and personal hopes to the character of God as revealed in the pages of His Book and in the life of His Son. There, faith sees a loving God who desires our eternal good, therefore enabling our acceptance of the situations of life without any unnecessary analysis. This person can say, “God is on His throne, He knows everything that I don’t understand.” That trust overcomes the multitude of “whys” that fill our minds during events that defy our understanding, events like floods in Alberta.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging . . .  The Lord Almighty is with us: the God of Jacob is our fortress” (Psalm 46 NIV).

Some would be quick to blame the current devastation on God, but faith remembers that even though He controls the storms, He also loves us enough to die for us. He knows what we do not know, about the rain, about everything.

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