We often read passages such as Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, and wish we could be like those heroes. We might even look at other Christian VIP’s, authors, speakers, and the like and think to ourselves, “Man, they have it figured out. Why can’t...
We often read passages such as Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, and wish we could be like those heroes.
We might even look at other Christian VIP’s, authors, speakers, and the like and think to ourselves, “Man, they have it figured out. Why can’t I be like them?”
Anyone on a faith walk or journey has these moments of spiritual jealousy. And, on the one hand, maybe it’s a good thing. After all, if we are that concerned with being spiritual and being an exemplar of faith, then maybe it’s good that we struggle with it. Of course, it is obviously dangerous. Such jealousy is hardly representative of a loving God.
Paul says in Philippians to work out your own salvation in fear and trembling. This often scares people as if Paul is really trying to frighten them and their relationship with God. But, that is not an appropriate reading of the passage. Rather, Paul means you have to work at your relationship with God. And, in that, be in awe of who He really is.
Faith is not a destination. It is a journey. And, everyone is on the same journey. In fact, the trembling signifies that we might get scared once in a while. We may have moments of doubt and weakness. And, that is okay. But, we are to have faith.
The Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard wrote of the knight of resignation who looks admirable and may be compared to a Stoic in the face of adversity. How we admire those who can look unshakable during times of great trial and distress (perhaps at the loss of a job, death of loved one). But, being Stoic is merely being detached from the world. Where is the commitment, though? Where is the faith?
Abraham, virtually the father of faith, should have been frightened to some extent when asked to give up his son, Isaac. But, as he had worked on his relationship with God, he was considered righteous and faithful. Isaac was not taken from him but given back, restored to Abraham.
As a man of faith or, as Kierkegaard refers to him, a knight of faith, Abraham should have worried while being obedient. How could God ask for such a sacrifice? In our world, that sacrifice would be considered murder. Indeed, in the time of Abraham, it would have been considered murder as well.
The Knight of Faith, however, knows that anything and everything could be taken from him at a moment’s notice and, perhaps, at the command of God Himself. But, the Knight of Faith is certain that all will be restored to him by God. There is no detachment or doubt but utter faith and reliance upon God.
There is a lesson here about our walk with Christ. Our faith may be irrational at times to trust in something that makes no sense in our everyday world. In fact, some of God’s requests and plans seem so contradictory that it almost appears that God has no consideration of good and evil. And, maybe He doesn’t. And, maybe that’s the challenge.
How can God forgive all if even He has a rating system? How can He ask us to forgive all and welcome all to the table if we rate and rank others? It must have been frightening to watch Jesus welcome the prostitutes (how can she do that?), the tax collectors (how can he live with himself?), and make promises to a thief on a cross. How much more disturbing to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross as a guiltless, sinless man?
As Christians, we should not just know this forgiveness but practice this forgiveness. Our faith should at once tell us and exemplify the fact that we have lost everything and it has been restored by Christ’s death on the cross. Could you ever repay such a debt? Do you know how much God has given back to you?
In Christ’s parable from Matthew 18, the master who forgave the debt was forgiving, by today’s standards, billions of dollars. Do you have billions of dollars to repay? I don’t.
We have erred easily into the billions and God has written it off and said you must do the same. Our showing of forgiveness is our demonstration of our gratitude to God and, in some sense, it shows that we have not forgotten, that we are forgiven and that we have faith.
So, here is our salvation. Our faith walk is one of fear and trembling. We should be in awe, in fear of the judgment not rendered. We should tremble, but not falter for He is with us.
Remember our heroes of the faith. They stand out to us as giants because of what they faced often without sin or guilt before God. We should be thankful, not jealous, that God has not asked us to tremble as much. But, if He does, remember there is faith, there is salvation, there is Jesus welcoming us no matter what.Share on Facebook Tweet This Pin This