I have to give it to God. When he’s trying to tell you something, he really makes sure you get the point.
So I’ve talked about being brave for your faith a few times, but I realized yesterday that the people around you can sometimes have comfort zones for your faith.
Sometimes I wonder if this is what Paul was talking about when he said that Christians would be persecuted for their faith. Persecution doesn’t have to come from angry mobs, sometimes it comes in more subtle ways from people that you love and you don’t even realize it’s happening. And then you start to question yourself and your beliefs…Am I going to far for my faith? Am I losing myself? My grasp on reality?
This was something I wrestled with a lot yesterday and it made me sad. The day before I had reached what I would call a new level in my faith journey, or experienced a very special moment with God and the very next day when I tried to share that moment I was dragged down. I honestly didn’t know how to feel, but I know that I lost some of that “freedom” my faith gives me. And soon I wasn’t just worrying about my faith, I was just worrying in general, about everything.
If you want to know if I turned this problem over to God yesterday…you bet I did and today, as our always, faithful Lord answered as he promised he would, I asked…and I received my answer.
My bible reading today started with Romans 3. This is a chapter all about, you guessed it…faith. It talks about Abraham being justified by faith and that he received his promise from God because of his righteousness, a righteousness that comes by faith. It says that righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. And in the study notes I read “faith does not refuse to face reality but looks beyond all difficulties to God and his promises”. So first God reminded me to have faith.
My second reading was Luke 12 in which Jesus tells his disciples not to worry. This contains that famous line “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6-7 So first God reminded me to have faith and then he told me not to be afraid. There is a whole section of this chapter specifically devoted to Jesus telling his disciples not to worry. In fact in my bible, this section is titled “DO NOT WORRY”. Point taken.
The final nail in the coffin so to speak was when I picked up my son’s comic book version of the bible and the line that literally jumped out at me (it was right after Jesus calmed the storm) “Your faith is too small. Don’t be afraid, just believe”.
So you see, I asked a question and God responded. He was faithful and I need to be too. Today I’m not going to worry if my faith makes people around me uncomfortable. I’m going to take my own journey, confident that God will provide me with everything I need to grow closer to him.