Wednesday, April 10
The message I got out of this writing is about how one comes to Faith (or not). It is about people who, even though they hear the message, either don’t understand it or refuse to believe it. Plenty of us were exposed to Religion and Church at a time and/or age when we were merely exposed to words and teachings that had little meaning to us. For me, when I was young, I knew I was supposed to believe in God/Jesus, but real faith did not automatically just come to me, even though I had heard a lot about it. The times when “Faith” finally did come upon me were times when “real” trouble came my way; the kind of trouble that I did not perceive that any person could help me out of. Who could I turn to? Jesus was the answer. And if I didn’t have faith before, I got much closer to having it then.
One of these incidences of “real” trouble came to me in my 40’s. It was a situation that I did not believe was of my own making, and even so, I did not believe that there was any way out of this terrible problem. I confided in a friend who I believed had “real” Faith and asked for advice. He agreed to try to help and he brought one of his other friends to me and we all had a meeting. The friend he brought was much older and clearly had many life experiences from which to draw. He immediately asked me if I was a Christian and believed in Jesus Christ. Without hesitation, I said I did. It was somewhat a Leap into greater Faith in that second. He asked me for an explanation of my problem and I told him. I then shared that I could see no way out.
These two friends shared how there was nothing that was too strong for Jesus to handle. They asked me to have faith and to pray for my situation and all involved in it. My new faith helped me to do just that. It was a clear miracle that the situation I was in just basically “went away”. There was no way for that to happen, but it just went away.
I learned a lot about faith then and I have at other times as well. As a child, I had heard the message many times. Along the way, I had been asked to participate from time to time. And even though I had not really realized it, my faith was not really there. I was just going through the motions as I believe many do.
This writing in Romans concerns people who hear the message and either don’t understand or they refuse to accept it. In my situation, I needed a push. And when that push came, I more or less jumped in. Somewhat later, I read a book called “Faith and Doubt”, which gave me further understanding. When I finished, I just started it over and read it again. It was a great message for me. Read it if you get a chance.