Hear tell, faith can be a tricky thing. My experience is that faith comes under attack all the time; so often, in fact, that anyone can become just too tired to believe. Constant grief can insist some things are just not worth the trouble. Quitting will become a viable option, even to the most faithful. You can quit your job. You can end a relationship. It is pretty easy to avoid people and situations where memories are just too unpleasant. But in the question of faith, there appears to me to be a valid solution to everything that comes against us. It’s called work. By work I mean work in the name of the Lord.
How often have you been able to get yourself out of the doldrums by helping somebody else get out of theirs? How many times have you been truly thankful for what you have because God showed you it could be much worse? Like I said, faith can be a tricky thing. When do you come to realize that now is the time, now is the test, now comes the temptation that challenges your faith? There have been no road maps for me that have said FAITH TEST AHEAD! More often than not I see faith’s red light about the same time I’ve run it. There is little consolation in knowing that I had a real chance to demonstrate my faith yesterday, last week or even a few minutes ago. It doesn’t make me feel any better knowing I could have and should have handled a particular situation more faith filled. I still botched the opportunity to practice what I preach, talk the talk and walk the walk. Therein lies the tricky part again. At the end of the day, any day, an honest review will show you dozens of chances to forgive, witness, profess, help and serve. At the end of any day, you realize you have run red light after red light.
Thank God we serve an awesome God; one who specializes in more than a second chance, but still another chance. We all get another crack at it because you’re still alive and the opportunities to do so are multiplied on a daily basis. If you missed one this morning, try again this afternoon. We live in a target rich environment, thank God. You can always do better. You see real faith mandates a change. You can’t do the same things in the same way with the same people, once you’ve accepted Christ in your life. Therefore, even though you might make the same mistakes, you realize and accept them as just that, mistakes. Now what? “So watch yourself. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says ‘I repent.’ Forgive him. The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’” Luke 17:3-5. You know how hard that is, i.e. increase your faith by forgiving those who repeatedly come against you?
So the dutiful response to turmoil on this earth is to act upon your faith as a member of the family whose center is not of this earth. Anybody want to try and spell tricky now? In order to work, you have to be rooted in the Word. You have to understand the rules. You must know when you have broken them and you must try in earnest never to break them again. You know the routine. We walk by faith and not by sight. The deed is the thing. But the intent means more. Forgive and serve. The aforementioned scripture is not intended for your brother. It’s meant for you and me. Remember, it’s not the red light you run through that’s the issue. It’s the one you see clearly that will make the difference. The more you see. The more you’ll stop. The more you stop. The more you’ll serve.