Waiting for today...: Where's My Faith When I Need It?

Tuesday, December 24

Where's My Faith When I Need It?

I obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ in 2011.  Before that time I was a believer but on that day I knew something was different. It was as if scales fell from my eyes like young Saul, after having been blind for three whole days (Acts 9:1-18). From that time on, I had a hunger to learn more about God’s nature and His will for my life. My new found sight enabled me to prioritize my life in a way that I couldn't before and without fear. I struggled, yes.  And rightly so since Jesus says offences will come (Luke 17:1). But He also encourages all that will believe to cast our cares upon Him and enter into His rest (1 Peter 5:7, Matthew 11:28). And I believe. That is, when I’m not in a bout of depression or experiencing a burst of anxiety.

My faith swings which ever way my mood swings. When my mood is up, I read my bible, pray several times per day and I’m eager to continue to strive toward loving perfectly. When my mood is down, I replace reading everything with watching anything on television, I utter a “thank you Father” every now and again before having a meal and I don’t even want to be around people much less show them love. When my mood is down and I lash out or shrink away, I become blinded by shame. Then the scales of guilt close my eyes again.  In the last three weeks I've probably read my bible about four times.

I had been so eager to start my survey of the letter to the Philippians because of the encouragement it offers every Christian confronted with distress. It was penned while an older Paul sat in prison awaiting his outcome and it contains one of the most quoted scriptures in the bible: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). I believe him. But faith is more than a mental exercise or a warm fuzzy feeling. It is a belief that is strong enough to persuade one to action. To read the bible. To pray. To love.

Before I obeyed the gospel of Christ, I scarcely read the bible.  The great book with it’s 2000+ pages was just too overwhelming.  And as important as everyone seemed to make it, no one ever took the time to walk me through it–until that day in 2011.  In the times before that year though, I came across what I thought was the next best thing: Our Daily Bread.  This is a daily devotional booklet offered freely by RBC Ministries.  Each day’s devotion is inspired by and includes a bible passage.  In addition, it often includes either an inspirational quote, a short prayer or both.  This 10 minute daily reading, while scant in comparison to what I am accustomed to when my mood is up, ought to muster up enough faith to bring me to my knees long enough to pray for the strength of Christ during my lowest moments.