“The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)
“Without faith, it is impossible to please Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Here is how the process works….
I do not know all the answers to my questions, do not know how the Lord will save me or what happens to my sins or how He can help me overcome my bad habits and weaknesses. I do not know what kind of life will open before me as a believer, nor how my friends and family will take my newfound faith. There is so much I do not know.
But I come to Jesus anyway. By faith.
IN CONFESSING CHRIST.
I do not know where I will find the courage to stand up before even this church crowd, how much more the world outside the church, and confess that I am now following Jesus. I do not know what this will involve, what the Lord will expect of me, how people will react or what I am to say and do.
Yet, I will confess Jesus anyway. I will do so by faith.
I do not know why the Lord thinks this is so important and why so many Christians don’t. I do not know what difference it will make or whether I will suck water into my nose and embarrass myself and the pastor. I do not know why “sprinkling baptism”–which is so much more dignified–does not suffice and that I am being asked to be dunked.
But I will be baptized anyway. On the faith that it is right.
I do not see the Father to whom I pray and cannot prove His existence to a doubting friend. I pray for things I’ll never see and believe God answers prayers for people I do not know–the president and missionaries and such. I do not think I pray very well, and if I were God I’d reject my prayers as the babbling of the unworthy.
But I will pray anyway. In faith.
I do not know what little good my few dollars can do or why God wants them. I do not know where the money goes or what it accomplishes. And when I begin tithing–and even beyond–I do not know how I’ll be able to meet all my expenses.
But I will give anyway, and do so by faith in Him.
I do not know what to say to others and feel so unqualified to urge others to turn to Jesus. I do not know if I will be thrown out of their house or accused of being conceited and narrow-minded or a bigot and intolerant.
But I will share my faith in Jesus anyway. By faith.
I do not know how to love the unlovely, how to turn the other cheek (or why I should be expected to do that!), or how to give my shirt to the one who would steal my jacket. The Lord asks some mighty strange things from His people. I am not sure why.
But I will do loving acts toward others anyway. By faith that He knows why.
My natural inclination is to want others to serve me and to be someone “great.” And yet, Jesus says time and again that I am to serve others. I don’t know how, don’t know why, and don’t know if I can.
But I will serve others. By faith, of course.
I don’t know why my pitiful hymn-singing and sad little offerings would matter to the Almighty God, but apparently they do. I don’t know why a bunch of people who are mostly no more godly or saintly than I am coming together and singing and praying and working would matter to the Lord of the Universe, but evidently it does. I do worshipful things so poorly and inadequately.
But I will be in church today worshiping God. Through Jesus and by faith.
I do not know how to grow in Christ, would not know if I were growing, and apparently will never feel (in this life) that I am mature and godly. I see so much ungodliness in me that it appears I’m not growing at all, but am even worse than when I started following Jesus. I know it’s not so, but that’s how I feel. I don’t know why.
But I will keep doing the things the Lord said in the hope that I will grow. I will do it by faith.
“Now, faith is the…conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand….” (Hebrews 11:1-3)