Faith in What?

Thinking about faith, and what it is, and why it matters. The world as we perceive would not exist if not for faith. We cannot live in community without faith. I’m not sure we can live at all without it. We have to have faith in certain basic things, don’t we? I pondered a bit; what do you think?

we all have faith in something. what do you believe?

do you believe that if you follow the traffic laws
everyone else will, too? anyone else?

do you believe that the price of a loaf of bread
will stay the same from the bakery shelf to the checkout line? in this country?

do you believe that mothers and fathers
never want to hurt their children? maybe not often?

do you believe that wars are fought
for high and noble reasons? or reasonable reasons?

do you believe that your friends
will always have your back? if they’re able?

do you believe that if you’re careful with your money
you’ll never do without? much?

do you believe that if you work smart and study hard and live clean
you’ll get your dream job? or at least a job?

do you believe that if you treat people right
they’ll appreciate you? respect you?

I don’t.
I don’t believe any of those things.
The more I see, the more I learn, the less I believe. The less I trust in people or things or patterns or systems, or even experience.

But I believe God is real, and loving, and active.
For me, that faith
is enough.

It is enough, because even if no one else follows traffic laws, and I lose property or health or life as a result, my faith says that God is still real, and loving, and active. That means He’s still in control, since He’s God; and He’s taking care of all of us, including me, since He’s loving; and things will work out for the best, since He’s active.

It is enough, because even runaway inflation can’t stop God’s work, and we ought to be relying on Him for provision, anyway, not a bakery or an economy or a government. He is the Bread of Life, and the price for us to have that bread has already been paid, and we can therefore be full citizens and participants in the perfect Kingdom of God.

Mothers and fathers aren’t perfect, and neither are children. War is hell. Friends fail us. Even when we do all the right things, life is difficult. That’s to remind us that we aren’t supposed to be able to live by our standards of what’s good or pleasing or perfect.

Instead, we can interpret the disappointments as challenges to switch around our faith. Instead of believing in people or policies or processes that seem to make the world go around, we can follow the advice in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (NIV).

We can choose to believe that when things are out of our control, they’re still in His control, so we don’t have to get too bent out of shape about things like traffic and inflation and anger and war and on and on. We can choose to accept the task of finding what is good and pleasing and perfect in what He is allowing to happen in our lives.

faith in that
is enough.

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