…and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:23b
A co-worker asked me how I know what faith feels like. I got crickets…well, at first, I did. I wasn’t sure what to tell him. It dawned on me that having faith, and being able to explain the joy of it, are two different things. I could wax rhapsodic about the glorious feeling I get inside when I consider what happened at the great exchange on the cross. I could explain to him the famous verse about faith:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
But that would be using the word I am trying to define in the definition. That kind of circular reasoning will not give a real answer. This guy has a very high IQ, and is more often looking for an argument in which to showcase his intelligence. I do not want to get into that kind of thing. It would be pointless and frustrating.
I was left with the proverbial problem of trying to describe the color orange to a blind man. Then I remembered I was once blind to faith, too. I was blinded to the things of God, and wanted to understand them, just like this guy does. Like him, I had God in a box, I new more than anyone else, and had very little patience with the cretins around me who had no idea about anything. How do I explain faith to someone who is like this?
The Root of the Matter
I told my coworker I will only answer in the context of what the Bible has to say about faith, but needed time to frame an answer. His immediate reaction was to tell me he doesn’t want to hear my religious point of view, but only wants a philosophical discussion.
I recognize an evasive maneuver when I see one. I used to use this very argument when I was under conviction, and was afraid the answer would get too real for me to handle. Fear drives that sort of thinking.
I needed God to show me how to get past the wall of fear this guy has constructed so I can show him what faith looks like. I knew that the only thing to do was give this to God and wait for Him to show me how to explain faith.
I asked God to open my eyes, and the eyes of my coworker, so we could both see what God wants to show us both about faith.
IN THE MEAN TIME
The company I work for sent me to Richmond, Virginia for training. At the end of the week would be a final exam. The brochure made it clear that the exam period is 8 hours. The company booked my flight to leave right in the middle of the testing time. This was really bad timing. I would have to walk out during the middle of the test just to make my flight.
I called the home office and explained my situation. Their answer was that it would cost too much to reschedule my flight, and, besides, one of my peers claimed to have taken the test in one hour, so I shouldn’t have a problem doing the same thing.
I checked with the instructor about the testing times. He explained that no one in the history of this test has ever completed it in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes. I called the home office back and told them what the instructor said. The answer was a very firm “no”. It was made very clear to to me that there was no way the flight would be changed. I would just have to work it out to be done with the test in time to leave for the airport.
The Old David (Me before the Holy Spirit) would have thrown a very loud fit and gone totally nuts. I was tempted to be angry and frustrated. For once in my life, though, I obeyed God and took this to Him. I called Sandy and we prayed about it ( Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. – Jesus – Matt. 18:19)
Within two hours of our praying, I got an e-mail from the home office telling me that my flight was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday. The solid and resounding “NO!!!” had been turned into a “But of course we can!” after Sandy and I prayed.
When I got the e-mail, I nearly cried. God had moved the hearts of the people on my behalf. Once again, God had come through in a situation where the world had said it was not possible.
I felt complete in Him through this. I felt assurance of His love for me that His promise is true: Philippians 4:6-7 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Even in the little things, God shows His love and care. For the first time in my existence, I felt what it is like to know the love of a caring father. This is why it is so easy to trust Him. He cares. He loves. He demonstrates that love in the most remarkable ways. It is when things are really frustrating that God is able to reveal something that I would have otherwise missed. All I have to do is remember to trust him with my circumstances.
It is easy to have faith in one whose love is complete and unconditional.
THERE WAS MY ANSWER
It dawned on me that God had opened my eyes. Again, He revealed Himself. Perfect love casts out all fear. It is easy to have faith in one who loves you completely and demonstrates that love so freely. God’s perfect love casts out all my fears. When the world says no, God says, yes.
WHAT DOES FAITH FEEL LIKE?
Faith feels like love.
This Love fills me with reckless abandon toward the things of God.
Faith feels fearless, Charles.
That is what faith feels like.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
I love you in the name of Jesus,
Now, Let’s Be About It!
David G. Perkins