How great is your faith?

FAITH will never be fully understood. It will always come wrapped in mysteries and riddles. You may ask yourself over and over again, why? Why did these things have to happen to me? Why did certain events come to pass?

But if we can’t understand our own motives, how do we expect to understand God’s way of doing things?

So look back at your own life. That’s a good place to start. Look at the choices you made, the dead ends you encountered, the times when you were on top of the world — and the times when it all seemed pointless.

Look at the life situation you inherited. Maybe you wonder if it could all have been different somehow. Or maybe you are deeply thankful for everything — the good and the bad.

If you found any true understanding along the way, you acquired it by living your life. You had to go through it. You had to hurt and struggle and fight to survive. You had to face down the demons.

To learn how to win, you first had to learn how to lose. And your greatest victories were found in strength you never knew you had.

You can gain deep wisdom just by looking at your own life. Your pain, struggle, sorrow, and joy — how much can you gain by exploring your life story?

And what about faith? What happens when faith is layered into the mix? What happens if God’s grace is infused into your life vision? Does it even matter?

What we know about the Son of Man comes from his life story too. His teachings are saturated with wisdom. The walk he walked was monumental.

Many wise men have told us to seek godliness. Many good and courageous people can inspire you. But Jesus was different. He was God, born as man. The source of wisdom became flesh and dwelt among us. And still — even though God came to earth as man — faith remains a mystery.  

But here’s the thing. Once you accept Jesus into your life, everything changes. It is not a simple acceptance of the value of his teachings. It’s not just acknowledging his wisdom and good example.

Even the most hardened criminal understands the value of goodness. But going to Christ and recognizing that he is good and that he is God — that’s something entirely different.

Yes, it’s all true — every single word from God. You are forgiven of every sin. You are loved exactly as you are. And you can be better. You can have fierce hope despite any challenge or difficulty. And yes, you can have eternal life.

It’s there that faith grips you. It’s mystery wrapped in wonder. You feel a sudden rush of joy since the chains of bondage have been lifted from you.

It’s falling in love with God as you know he fell in love with you from the beginning of time. 

Your life is not a game. It’s not meaningless or trivial. And despite our seeming insignificance in this vast universe, God shows up in the most real, direct way possible.

He says to you, “Here I am. Take my hand.” And then he leads you on an incredible journey. And if you trust, if you believe, you walk upon the waters of your fears. You soar with the Spirit to the heavens. 

Still, maybe some are in a truly deep, dark, and lonely place. You might think — nobody understands, no one can help me. My life is meaningless and full of suffering. There is no such thing as hope and faith.

If that’s your case, then the message of God’s love — of Christ on the cross for you — is all the more powerful, all the more convincing, all the more urgent. Your life and soul depend upon it.

You can remain bitter and cold. You can stay remorseful. Or you can say, No. Wait.

I DO BELIEVE in something better, higher, and more pure no matter what I’m facing, no matter how hurt or ashamed I am.

I want to be healthy and free. Save me, O Lord! Save my weary soul!

And in that moment of truth and humility, the Lord runs to you. He throws his arms around you and kisses you. He rejoices in his child who has returned to life again. 

Suddenly, you’re not alone anymore. You know your existence has a deeper meaning and purpose. The Spirit that created the universe, the Spirit that resurrects the dead, lives within you. God is with you at all times. You only have to acknowledge him, and he’s there for you.

It doesn’t matter how crazy things get in this world. It doesn’t matter how afraid you are. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve been hurt. The Lord comes to heal you and set you free. So hold onto him tenaciously as one clings to life and love. 

Have faith that you can have faith. Anything is possible. It will all come to pass as it should. And the prophecy will be fulfilled.

Christ lived. He died. He rose from the dead. And he will come again in glory.

. . . . . . .

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.”

Matthew 1:22-23

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