Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thought for the day (4/29/10)

I'm often amused by articles in which people talk about how "new" certain beliefs are in Christianity. It can be hard, sometimes, to remember that when the world uses the term "Christian" or "Christianity," they're not really talking about true Christianity, true Jesus followers, but refer to the organized religions lumped together into one huge mass called, for convenience's sake, Christianity. Over and over again, our beliefs are talked about as if they're relatively new, novel, not something to be taken seriously in a day of "enlightened" thinking. If we're not careful, it can be easy to allow those words, thoughts, or arguments cause us to doubt things we know to be true, shake our faith, draw us away from the things that really matter in life.

I was in Lifeway the other day and caught part of a video on the early life of Billy Graham. In this scene, he was confronted by a life-long friend who'd left the faith because he couldn't reconcile what he thought he believed with the reasoning of the intellectual world. Billy didn't have a response, and it led him to a place where he was crying out to God to show Himself, asking if it was all worth it. The answer came -- faith. He realized faith is what made the difference, and when we stand in our faith, we gain the strength to see through the arguments of the world to the real truth.

Psalm 3:3 states that the Lord is a shield around me, my glory and the lifter of my head. Verse 6 follows up with the declaration that I do not have to be afraid of the thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side. If we trust solely in reason, then we are trusting solely in ourselves.

Be honest with yourself for a moment. You know the real you, the one you keep locked up deep inside that never gets to see the light of day for fear that if it ever came out, everyone around you would run away in fear and disgust. Do you really want to bank the happiness and success of your life on you, knowing that you carry that around with you every day? Come on, whether you know it or not, that part of you affects every decision you make, ultimately the course your life takes and the person you become. That's what trusting in reason is. If we all have this ugly part inside, can we really trust human reason? That's why true followers of Jesus can say as David did in verse 5, we lay down and sleep, and wake up every morning resting in the knowledge that our God sustains us. It doesn't matter who stands up against us or what terrible circumstances we face. Our faith is not in ourselves, as those who rely on themselves or human intellect and reason, it's in Someone greater that we can ever be. Our faith is in the One Who, because of our faith, has made us new, wiped out the ugly part inside us forever, and, as verse 3 said, is our shield, our glory, and the One Who lifts us up every day.

The Apostle John speaks of us as being "of God" in chapter 1. We live, we love, we grow, we walk this world different because we are of God. Our faith is in God, we find our purpose and fulfillment in God, we have a hope and a joy no one else has because of God. Never let the reasonings or arguments of the world ever convince you otherwise.

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