You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Faith’ tag.

What you find is that the problem of faith lies in us, not God, and it all comes down to a level of trust. Society tells us today to trust no one, to look out for #1, to take care of me. Nowhere are we told to trust in God; not in society, not in our schools, not in our places of work and frighteningly not in our churches. You heard me correctly, our churches. The one place you would assume would be overflowing with faith and trust is the one place where most people see a pragmatic, religious atheism played out on a daily basis. An oxymoron to be sure, but truth nonetheless. How is it “religious atheism” you might ask? We confess our lives to God yet we live our lives as if He doesn’t exist. We say we have given our hearts and lives to Christ to be our “Lord and Savior” yet we treat Him as if he couldn’t change a lightbulb, that He has no ability to work powerfully in our lives. On Sunday we have “faith” but come Monday we forget that He exists.

We allow ourselves to be forced into faith. What do I mean by that? Think about this for a moment; when was the last time you exhibited faith when you weren’t in a crisis? Interesting thought, isn’t it? Unfortunately we have things backwards in life, we feel that we are capable of taking care of everything, shelter, provisions, money, health and medicine and only in those rare situations when we don’t have any control over the outcome are we forced into faith in God. He becomes our last resort, our last hope, the Hail-Mary pass at the end of the game instead of being the first choice…the only choice. So my question is this, is that faith? Or, does that equate to something close to hitting a panic button and hoping something favorable happens? If God has proven Himself to us (as I established in part 1), why does it require such effort to “have faith?” Could it be that our faith is built upon our own expectations and not God’s and ultimately the problem is with the “our faith” part instead of it being “His faith.” If we were to lay aside our incomplete trust and faith while fusing ourselves to the faith only given by God our dilemma would be resolved. An example from Scripture will help clarify the point.

While Jesus was teaching a crowd of 5,000 assembled to be healed and listen to the words of Christ. When it started getting late Jesus asked the disciples to feed the people and the disciples responded in unbelief, “we have only five loaves and two fish.” (Matt 14:17) Jesus used what the disciples had to feed the 5,000 and then some. What Jesus didn’t do was ask how the disciples would solve the situation, He acted, in a mighty way to show the disciples that nothing is impossible for God. Therefore, they had no reason to doubt God. Seems like a good lesson in learning faith, so Jesus gives the disciples another shot at it. In Matthew 15, Jesus has a crowd of 4,000 following him when the same problem arises, how do we feed these people? The disciples ask Jesus, “Where could we get enough bread…to feed such a crowd?” WAIT…what just happened? Jesus fed a larger crowd just weeks before and the disciples don’t have a clue on how to feed them…are the disciples that slow? Or a better question, are WE that slow?

The disciples became powerful in building the Kingdom once they were able to let go of their selfish motives, their pride, their lack of faith and when they started obeying God. Let’s stop treating God’s Word as a collection of bedtime stories and start realizing them for what they are…True Life! Faith comes from obedience, and the greatest part is that God is faithful to us even when we aren’t obedient. Faith isn’t hard, wanting to obey God daily becomes hard because we allow the world to pull on us in so many directions, but stand your ground Christian! We have a God who proves Himself to us everyday, so let us take the “problem of faith” and use it as the Creator intended it, as the power of faith!

Advertisements

Society today treats faith as if it were a four letter word, speak about faith in an open setting and you can be guaranteed to receive a few snarls, angry glances and perhaps even open rebuke. Faith has no place in our modern, technological age of science and empirical data. Most people regard faith as a hopeless mysticism of days gone by and many have nothing else to say during times of great loss or tragedy but “have faith.” The statement is made with good intentions, it is meant to function as a salve for the soul but then we realize that we don’t even know what it means. And so we say something that has no application to our lives and we realize the hypocrisy before the words even leave our lips, yet we speak them anyway. The problem of faith plagues everyone but is the problem with “faith” or does it lie with us?

An atheist will tell you that faith is simply a blind belief in something, usually fueled from emotion, lacking any logical basis and founded in a God which doesn’t exist making it all the more illogical. But the atheist, just as the believer has a level of faith in more things than they would like to admit. Take breathing as an example, I have faith that in the next few minutes I will still be able to breathe. Now I may know all the intricacies of how breathing works, how oxygen is transferred to my blood cells which fuel the organs of my body and how without breathing my physical body would terminate from lack of oxygen. All of these facts are wonderful but they do nothing to assist my body in breathing, I must act out in a level of faith and actually breathe in to make the system work. Now the skeptic would immediately interject “that’s not faith, that’s science” but science just like faith needs to be proven true, so as each breath keeps my body alive I can have faith to continue breathing. Take the process one step further, there is nothing to say that I should be breathing and there is a plethora of reasons why I should and could stop breathing, yet, do I actually doubt the breath I take as I write this? No. Why? Because each breath strengthens my faith that the next one will certainly arrive.

The same is true for one’s faith in God. We can have faith in God because of His powerful work in our lives every day. Each day, God more than proves himself to us, by sustaining the earth to spin, the sun to rise and for breath of life to enter my nostrils, and as each breath builds upon the next, my faith should be ever growing. Think back in your life, how many times has God rescued you, saved you, strengthened you, protected you and blessed you? I challenge you to take a few minutes and write down the many times God has worked in your life over the last week and prepare to be astounded. What you will find is that the problem of faith lies in us, not God.  (Check back shortly for the conclusion: The Problem of Faith Part 2)

Fact or Fiction?

Many of you may not know this about me, but for the past 3 years I have preached on Sunday mornings at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. During my hour long service the Gospel is preached and many lives are changed, people giving their lives over to the healing, cleansing, and saving work of Christ. One of the most enjoyable times for me is the question and answer portion where I open it up to any questions regarding God. Many people attend the service who are not Christians, in fact, I have many professing atheists or agnostics that come to church and I look forward to them engaging with me during the question and answer time. This week an important question was asked; “You don’t really believe the stories in the Bible do you?”

Before I get to the answer we have to lay a foundation. This is an essential question to anyone’s faith. Can you believe what is written in the Bible or is it just a collection of bedtime stories that we tell children before they go to bed, a sort of Aesop’s Fables with a good moral application? How can a person be expected to believe that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead if they can’t believe that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish? I think it is more than reasonable for a person to doubt the validity of the Bible but what is unreasonable is for a person never to pursue their doubts about the Bible. The Bible rests completely upon it’s claim that it truly is the Word of God. It cannot be “mostly” true, if part of Scripture is wrong what’s to prevent all of it being that way? Scripture is simply either Fact or Fiction.

So I asked the gentleman to give me an example of a story he did not trust. “Noah’s Ark” he replied. “You actually believe that the whole earth was covered in water? I think that’s completely absurd.” My answer was rather straightforward, “What about the people who were living 4 miles from the coast in Japan last week, I’m pretty sure they thought it was absurd that a wall of water 30 feet high swept away their homes, cars, places of business and for some their very lives.”

You see, the fact of the matter is that we dictate to God what we feel is possible or not. The Bible tells us for 40 days the flood kept coming upon the earth. Think about that for a moment, 40 days of rain, floods and tsunamis. I saw the power of one tsunami over the course of an hour, can I even begin to fathom what the earth would look like after 40 days of that type of devastation? Yes, you can believe the Bible. And for a book that has been constantly under attack for the last 2,000 years, I think it’s made a pretty strong case for itself as Fact, not fiction.

(Please pray for those still suffering from the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11th. You can read the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis 6-9.)

What’s Happening on Twitter

  • Sitting at #NVDMV for hours, even with an appointment, has me rethinking my theological beliefs on purgatory 🤔 1 week ago
  • Praying for all my friends in NC right now and to my peoples @DukeU stay safe! 1 month ago
  • I’m renaming all of my phone contacts with the names of Godzilla’s enemies. I’m still looking for a Jet Jaguar and a Biollante 😂 2 months ago
Follow SantinoCantalup on Twitter

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,637 other followers

Advertisements