Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Face To Face With Christ My Saviour"1 (Lyrics)
An atheist friend once remarked to me that Christianity is destructive because it produces passivity. Yet a cursory glance at the achievements of strong believers down the centuries easily proves otherwise. Nevertheless, my friend raises a worthy point. We can indeed become passive as Christians. However, the cause is not Christianity, but feeble trust in the Christian God. That's what restrains us from our potential.
But let's be practical: What is reasonable for us to trust God for? How far should we count on God to preserve our earthly environment or our human race from self-destruction? Is there not a risk of becoming overly presumptuous with God? I say, it would only be unreasonable and presumptuous to trust God for something that is not authentic to His nature and purposes. On the other hand, it is entirely reasonable to trust God for Who God truly is and what God truly does — as disclosed in the Scriptures.
That requires a trust in the reliability of Scripture — moreover, in the God of the Bible, in His ability to oversee its formation, preserve its content, clarify its message, disclose its meaning, and keep it relevant for all ages. With that assurance, we can boldly trust its promises — notably, God's promise of faithfulness to His ancient covenant purposes. We can trust this ancient promise for today, as God builds and preserves a modern-day church across the globe.
Hebrews 11:6a – Without faith it is impossible to please God. (NIV)
However, it is one thing to declare God's trustworthiness and another to live a life of faith that pleases God. So, we ask ourselves, how far am I willing to count on God to care for me, forgive me, restore purpose through my losses, or bring glory through my limits and failures? How far will I trust His Spirit for guidance with troubling issues? Am I willing to trust God to disclose His grace to loved ones, opponents, or fallen sinners? How far will I trust God to transform my thinking and my character? Is it only until the process hurts or humbles me too much, or until I experience social and religious pushback — or it thwarts my goals?
What probing questions! They challenge us to think about God and ourselves, and to honestly examine our ability to trust God and to recognize the obstacles. That's worth it! After all, nothing is more precious than our faith; and surely we want our faith to become as genuine and pure as possible.
1 Peter 1:7 – These [trials] have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. (NIV)
In view of such a promise, let us pray this:
Prayer: Lord, teach me to trust You with all my heart. I want to stop leaning on my own understanding. I submit my ways to You, my habits, commitments, expectations and values — that You may direct my path and forge a faith that overcomes all fear and passivity. Amen.