One of the most difficult things in the Christian faith is learning how to bring out entire lives into conformity with God’s commands and purposes. I think the reason I struggle with this is because I cannot see into the future. If I could see how the decisions I was going to make right now were going to impact future events I would have greater confidence in what I was doing.
This may be wishful thinking. It may even be naive to think that we could have this kind of foresight. I do not have a problem with that. What I have learned is that I do not have to see into the future to have a good idea of how a present decision with impact future events.
For better or for worse, people and the circumstances that we find ourselves in do not change all that much. Sure, there are issues of language and culture but, people still have the same basic needs and desires. We all desire to be loved and accepted. We all have fears and anxieties. We all have a longing to live a life of meaning and purpose. I do not believe that people wake up every morning hoping to live a meaningless existence. This kind of hopelessness and ambiguity is something we learn because of what we choose and, to a greater degree, what we go through in life.
We cannot deny that the choices of others affect us. They may even cause us to stumble. I do not ever want to minimize this reality. What I have come to believe is that when we do not have something sure, constant, and immovable in our lives this tendency toward existential angst goes unchecked.
As a believer in Jesus, my faith provides me with a mooring to hope that, even when I fight against it, reminds me that there is someone who is calling me back from the brink. For me, hope is not just an idea. Hope is incarnated in the person of Jesus. He is my hope. He is the one who calls me back to the light when the world grows dark.
Faith in Jesus is not easy. Not because it is difficult to understand what is being asked of us. This life is difficult because we see what is being asked and we have to decide if we are genuinely willing to surrender our desires to those of God. Are we willing to trust that the steps God is calling and leading us to take are safe and sure?
In the end, there is only one way of finding out. That way is to take the first step. We have to begin to walk by faith and in faith before we will ever know. Faith is not blind. It is bold. It looks at what is in front of it and decides to proceed.
Faith is NOT blind. But it is not careless either. It must be thoughtful and measured and, most importantly, courageous.