Thursday, June 9, 2011
Faith vs. Reason
The true picture of faith in this chapter is an eye opener. faith isn't some magical force that enables the person who muster it to live a stress free and contented lifestyle - to get rich, live longer and be famous.
In this chapter, I am force to see that it is impossible to please God (truly) if I don't have faith and it is also not a preclude to a lavish lifestyle. There are a lot of men and women here that were mentioned who were of great faith who have persevered and endured - they suffered - they were flogged, they were destitute, they were imprisoned, they were mocked.
"They went about in goatskins and sheepskins, destitute, mistreated - the world was not worthy of them."
If you think you'll acquire wealth if you just have the "right amount of faith" - you are in for a serious need of awakening.
"These people were still living in faith when they died; they did not recieve the things promised; they only saw them and welcome them from a dsitance.
Those who have faith have turned their weaknesses into strenghts... "there God is not ashamed to be called their God..."
Will God be proud to be called your God?
It is not a usual race we are in - athletes punish their bodies in a grueling marathon race because there are two percievable reasons that's on their mind : 1. personal rewards and 2. great physical benefits. applied into spiritual realms the same can be claimed - prizes (even surpasses the previous struggles) and "the very process of living by faith builds strong character. No one is a loser in this race ... you get a reward even if you finish last --- just finish the race!
Real faith transcends reason : It is being sure of what we hope for and certain of things that we do not see. It is beyond our finite human intelligence can comprehend. It is just as well because having faith requires that we do not trust our own self and our capacity to make things happen... it forces us to acknowledge, albeit reluctantly for most of us humans, that there IS indeed a higher power and that THIS higher power cares and loves us deeply beyond what our restricted human brains can know.
In a facile way we dismiss the idea of SOMEONE greater, we thought we "I exist, therefore I am" - how arrogant! We should know better than that.
As I'm writing this I, too, am learning and relearning how to trust MY God. It's a process that is kinda slow for me because even if I know I don't have anything and can do nothing, I am still stubborn. So, my prayer is like that of a woman who has a sick son in the New Testament that said is desperation, "I have faith, please help me to increase my faith!"
May we be able to pray the same thing and with similar passion. :D