Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Trust in God

As the old story goes, a couple of tourists were watching a man traverse Niagra Falls on a tightrope.  He walked across, then he came back across on a bicycle.  The third time, he grabbed a wheelbarrow, and was getting ready to cross again.  One tourist said to the other, "Do you think he's going to make it?"  The second man said, "I know he'll make it.  This guy is the best in the world.  There is no way he'll fall." The first man then said, "Then get in the wheelbarrow."  And that is the difference between belief and faith.  Belief can be purely intellectual, but faith comes when we trust in someone or something enough to bet our lives on it. 

Everyone has beliefs, opinions, convictions about a variety of subjects.  But none of those matter nearly as much as what we put our faith in.  Faith matters.  Faith can make or break your life, literally.  We live in an age of tolerance.  We are told that no one should ever judge someone else’s beliefs.  That may be the highest value of our culture.  In an age like ours, it is more important than ever that we as Christians are very humble in the way we engage opposing viewpoints.  If we walk around attacking the moral or spiritual beliefs of others, ridiculing them, people will be so outraged, they won’t hear what we have to say about the Good News.  So, in that sense, yes, we should be tolerant.  But in spite of what our society says, all viewpoints are NOT equally valid.  No matter how sincere our beliefs might be, if our faith is misplaced, we're doomed.   

I will put it another way: We’re in an election year, and this time around, there are questions about the faith of both candidates.  Many people say those questions aren’t relevant; that a candidate’s faith shouldn’t matter.  I won’t weigh in on politics, but I assert that when it comes to our lives, our faith matters more than anything else.  Our faith determines the course of our lives, more so than our talents, our goals, or our resources.  In other words, you have the right to believe whatever you want to believe about God, right and wrong, what happens after his life and what you need to do in order to get ready for it.  But wouldn’t you like to know now if your faith is true?  This Sunday, we're going to look at the story of one of the kings of Judah (from 2 Kings 18-19), and how a serious crisis in his life revealed the truth about his faith.  Along the way, we’ll talk about true faith--the kind that will save your life--and faith that is only a mirage of the real thing.

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