We talk about having faith in God, but what does that really mean? Does it mean believing God exists? Yes. Does it mean accepting that He has created everything and is who and what we hear about him? Yes, it does. Does it mean accepting that His promises of salvation are true and trustworthy? Absolutely!
But how do we show our faith? In the book of James we are told that faith without works is dead, so one way to show our faith is to do those things that please God (He is very clear about what pleases Him throughout the bible) and to use those talents and gifts He has given us to give Him glory.
We minister to others; we become missionaries for God and His Messiah (for those that have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah), whether in the Third World or our own backyard, or we just live simple lives demonstrating our trust and faith to all we meet and know.
That is the topic for today- whether or not our everyday life demonstrates true faith in God.
Do you worry about things? Do you show one line of the bible to be not exactly true? Which line? The one about how we cannot make even one hair on our head black or white (Matthew 5:36.) If we go through life worrying about everything we will not only have gray hairs, we may make them fall out, altogether! (I know- it’s just an Old Wives tale.)
I rear-ended someone last week because I didn’t watch the road carefully enough. No one was hurt, her car has little damage (it will still cost a lot to replace her bumper) and my car may actually be totaled because of all the front end parts that are busted- I will find out this morning. Am I upset?- you bet I am! I am mad at myself for being careless (of course, that’s why they call it an “accident”, isn’t it?) and upset about the damage I can’t fix. I am also concerned that my rates might go up. All justifiable and understandable concerns, but am I worried about it?
No. I am not. I know that whether or not the car can be repaired or whether or not I have to get another car, or whether or not the insurance company will raise my rates is going to happen whether or not I worry about it. And if I dwell on it, I am not just worrying for no good, but I am demonstrating my lack of faith in God.
I gave this all to God the other day. I know that from my past I can trust God to handle it, to provide transportation if I need it or to give me a way to resolve my immediate and temporary problem. By the end of this year whatever the solution will be to this it will be old hat and I will be so used to it that this event will be forgotten.
That’s what everyday faith looks like.
It doesn’t mean I am not concerned, it doesn’t mean I am not upset that I may have to take on more debt or spend savings, and it doesn’t mean I am preaching fatalism or apathy. In fact, I fully trust God to make whatever I need available, and the only thing I am “worried” about, if I may use the term, is my ability to properly hear what God is telling me to do.
This morning I take the car to the body shop to find out what the story is, and then I either make arrangements to rent one while this one gets fixed or I look for another car.
Did you see the movie, “Bridge of Spies?” In this movie, the spy that was captured by America and was being traded for Capt. Gary Powers had a very calm, almost fatalistic attitude. I took it to be the quiet, professional resignation any spy should show, once captured, to the inevitability of their situation. Every time Tom Hank’s character asked the spy if he was worried or scared, the answer was something like, “Would it make any difference?” I thought that was more than just quiet resignation- I saw that as the ultimate indication of faith.
Of course, a Russian spy during the Cold War wouldn’t be a faithful follower of God, but we are. We should have that same trust and faith in our everyday lives to show everyone else the inner peace that comes from knowing God is on our side, that He is more than able to handle anything, and that no matter what happens we can remain calm and comforted because we know that all things work to the good for those that are called in His name (Romans 8:28.)
That is everyday faith. Do you show that to others? Do people ask you how you can remain so calm in the midst of certain destruction? Are people amazed, maybe even a little angry with you, because you are always sure that things will work out?
If you can’t answer that with a “yes”, then you need to work on your everyday faith. I know I do.
Making a big show of how much we love the Lord by dancing in the aisles, going to synagogue or church every Sabbath, volunteering, ministering on the streets- all that is good; there is nothing wrong with it at all. But if you worry about every little detail, if you are upset when things go wrong to the point of crying out, “What do we do now?” and if people do not see you as having a calming effect on everyone, then you are not showing faith in God to those who desperately need to see how wonderful that faith can make us feel in the midst of Tsouris.
Everyday faith is one of the best ways to demonstrate to others your faith in God, which will also bring glory to Him. It might even make them jealous of what you have to the point they start to wonder if this is something they should have, for themselves. I know people can come to faith that way, because my journey to finding God started by seeing the calm and peaceful attitude of Believers that God placed in my life, and I wanted to feel that way.
Yeshua tells us in Matthew 6:24, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
How about we think of it this way: today was tomorrow, yesterday, and we are told not to worry about tomorrow, therefor since every day is (yesterday’s) tomorrow, just don’t worry, period.
God can handle it, no matter what it is, and even if we feel we can’t handle the Tsouris we are going through, our everyday faith in God will show others that we know it will be alright, eventually.
And that everyday faith in God is what will allow us to handle it, too.