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Aiemmat blogit

Living Faith Speaks, Overcomes Inner Doubt

20.1.2017 6.49

Juttua muokattu:

8.3. 22:29

In our di­ver­se Ame­ri­can so­cie­tal mel­ting pot, be­lie­vers are lar­ge­ly shiel­ded from overt ri­di­cu­le or per­se­cu­ti­on in the workp­la­ce and com­mu­ni­ty, es­pe­ci­al­ly when com­pa­red ot­her ti­mes and pla­ces throug­hout his­to­ry where be­lie­vers have been open­ly vi­li­fied, imp­ri­so­ned or even kil­led be­cau­se of their faith. I, per­so­nal­ly, can­not think of any time my faith has been cal­led in­to qu­es­ti­on, or ever being mist­re­a­ted for be­lie­ving. Ho­we­ver, out­ward free­dom does not re­le­a­se us from in­ner mis­gi­vings or doubts.

When we live simp­ly ac­cor­ding to faith, our speech, choi­ces and ac­ti­ons can pi­que the in­te­rest of those around us in eve­ry­day life. As be­lie­vers, at dif­fe­rent ti­mes we find our­sel­ves in si­tu­a­ti­ons where we need to exp­lain or de­fend our ac­ti­ons or opi­ni­ons. So­me­ti­mes these in­te­rac­ti­ons are conf­ron­ta­ti­o­nal or awk­ward, but usu­al­ly the con­ver­sa­ti­on is po­li­te and res­pect­ful. Our clas­s­ma­tes, co­wor­kers, or neigh­bors may won­der about our faith and li­fes­ty­le choi­ces. Qu­es­ti­ons ty­pi­cal­ly ari­se out of ge­nui­ne cu­ri­o­si­ty, and most pe­op­le don’t aim to cau­se dis­com­fort or doubt by as­king them. Ne­vert­he­less, some may have ma­li­ci­ous in­tent. But any qu­es­ti­on, no mat­ter the sour­ce, can cau­se doubts to sur­fa­ce. Is it ea­sy to quick­ly exp­lain why we ha­ven’t made plans for how many to­tal child­ren we’ll have, or to come up with a re­a­son for why we avoid gos­sip and foul lan­gu­a­ge? When con­si­de­ring a qu­es­ti­on, the ene­my of souls, our flesh and our com­mon sen­se all res­pond and work wit­hin us, and can make us squirm.

We’re not ab­le to ans­wer eve­ry time. Ho­we­ver, fee­ling like we have to re­pe­a­ted­ly exp­lain our­sel­ves can wear us down, and stir doubts up. A few wa­ter drops on the head are no prob­lem, but a cons­tant drip is dist­res­sing. But no mat­ter the si­tu­a­ti­on, we al­wa­ys can simp­ly and humb­ly tell ot­hers about the foun­da­ti­on of our faith, our re­a­son for hope. This is of­ten is the most po­wer­ful ser­mon. As Pe­ter wri­tes, “sanc­ti­fy the Lord God in yo­ur he­arts: and be re­a­dy al­wa­ys to give an ans­wer to eve­ry man that as­keth you a re­a­son of the hope that is in you with meek­ness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15).

We of­ten­ti­mes find that our ra­ti­o­nal mind seems to conf­lict with our cau­se for hope. I re­mem­ber on­ce re­a­ding in a story that “faith is be­lie­ving in so­met­hing when com­mon sen­se tel­ls you not to.” Our hu­man abi­li­ty to re­a­son is a great gift, and it ser­ves us well in eve­ry­day life. We can nur­tu­re this gift as much any ot­her gift we’ve been gi­ven, de­ve­lo­ping and exer­ci­sing it by stu­dying, cre­a­ting, con­ver­sing and cont­ri­bu­ting. We can be thank­ful for it. But we al­so need to re­mem­ber that our abi­li­ty to re­a­son will not car­ry us to he­a­ven. Simp­le faith, which is the grace-gift of God, is the on­ly thing that brings us eter­nal life. As Paul wri­tes, our dai­ly walk of faith in­vol­ves “cas­ting down ima­gi­na­ti­ons, and eve­ry high thing that ex­hal­teth it­self against the know­led­ge of God, and brin­ging in­to cap­ti­vi­ty eve­ry thought to the obe­dien­ce of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

I have to re­mind my­self over and over that the pur­po­se of faith is to get to he­a­ven, and that faith is not just a gui­de for who­le­so­me li­ving here on earth. I have to re­mind my­self that my abi­li­ty to un­ders­tand will not open he­a­ven’s gate for me. Faith opens the gate. I’ve had to re­mem­ber that many tem­po­ral ide­as and is­su­es seem at od­ds with be­lie­ving, and that one day in he­a­ven eve­ryt­hing will be made clear. And each day God gi­ves strength to speak, choo­se and act ac­cor­ding to simp­le li­ving faith.

Much of my time is spent being an insurance agent. However, in addition to my earning a living, I am active in a few community groups, as well as working in the local congregation on various committees, as a song leader, and as a teacher of Sunday school and Bible Class. I also serve the North American central organization, LLC. Life is busy. But busyness is something to be thankful for because these activities reveal God’s blessing and care.

Koska Jeesus on itse käynyt läpi kärsimykset ja kiusaukset, hän kykenee auttamaan niitä, joita koetellaan. Hepr. 2:18

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