Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Author and Perfector

Dictionary: confidence or trust in a person or thing
Scripture: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

I’ve been thinking lately about faith and how it works. Sometimes when I’m really battling a particular thing or just simply trying to be patient, I think “man, if only I had more faith then this wouldn’t be so hard!” This line of thought recently brought up a question in my mind, where do we get faith and how do we get more of it?

This week I’ve been reading through Hosea and Amos. Not your average and seemingly uncheery books in the bible, yet I disagree. There is great hope within their prophecies (even if I don’t understand it all)! Again and again in both books, we see the Israelites called out on their disobedience and the punishment deserved laid-out clearly. And again and again, this is followed-up with the Lord’s compassion and love for them, in spite of their continual idol-worship. It all foreshadows the coming of Jesus, God’s ultimate portrayal and gift of compassion, love, forgiveness, and every-other-good-word-you-can-muster.

Yesterday as I drove to work, I was thinking about waiting, specifically waiting on the provision and direction of the Lord. I was thinking about how long the Israelites waited for Jesus, continuing to live within the cycle of crying out to God, obeying, getting bored, worshipping idols, being disciplined/experiencing consequences, and crying out to God again. I thought about how easily I enter into this cycle as well, which sickens my heart since I KNOW God is infinitely better than all the other hoopla I fill my head/heart/time with. I thought about waiting on his provision right now in my anxiousness and how much easier it’d be if I had more faith. Then it hit me. Softly a verse came to mind: let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith…

The author and perfector of our faith. I cannot increase my faith on my own. That’d be about as worthless as me sitting there wishing I had red hair, it won’t happen. Why? Because my faith does not originate from me nor is it improved, or perfected by me, only Jesus. The only way my faith may increase is if I fix my eyes on him.

This may sound like the world’s simplest truth to you, and in reality, it is me, too. I just needed a reminder. And once again, it confirmed the deep need I have to spend time with him, reading and knowing his word, which is where he reveals himself. It amazes me sometimes, to the point of extreme excitement, how truly powerful the word of God is.

In Deuteronomy and Numbers, Moses warns the Israelites over and over to not forget the things God has done. To write them everywhere, carry it with them, bang it into their minds, and tell it to everyone. He gets awfully repetitive, but it’s so true! It is far too easy for me to slowly seep into looking for life in the things of this world, even though I know none of it is life-giving. God’s word is a gift. And I am free to read it whenever/wherever I want in this country and yet I too take advantage of it.

So, I am focused on today and the waiting/patience I need for this day alone. I’m not looking at tomorrow or the next day or the next ten years, as today, I have everything I need. Today, I am keeping my eyes on that great author and perfector of my faith, knowing he will provide and, if I keep my eyes centered on him, I can’t screw up his plan. And as I’ve seen over the last however many years, my faith will increase as I know more and more about him, and am more and more enfolded into his heart’s desire. So, I wait and will not grow weary or lose heart today as the Creator of the universe is writing my life’s story; and that’s bound to be greater than anything I could dream.