One of our customers came to the dealership several times with frustrating issues on her Wrangler that took a very long time to repair. Then it had damage that needed to be repaired that she never had before.
Then it needed a new bumper. I spoke with her before she came back the third time. In my heart I knew she would be back. You ever have that feeling?
The management took care of the vehicle issues but while she waited for a resolution we engaged in conversation again.
It turned toward faith and I explained that I used to be a Pastor. She explained how she grew up in a Christian home and she was not really a believer. She mentioned this and that objection and I cut to the chase (big surprise).
I spoke to her and said, “God calls us to to do the most simple yet difficult thing to do, believe in Christ and that he died for us, for me, for you.”
“How does one believe like that? How can a person have such a deep faith?” Elaine asked.
I said to her, “Elaine, the thing you need to know is that you are radically loved by God.” She wept. She kept apologizing about crying but I said there is no need. God wanted her to hear this and he in his Providence used her car problems three times to get her back to the dealership so I could speak to her. I love when God does this and allows me to disseminate the Word of God to all kinds of people.
“But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Heb. 10:38-39NIV).
We cannot live in some religious day dream wishing and hoping for faith to present itself in our hearts. The writer of Hebrews tells us the Christian life is marked by the quality, or better the gift of faith. The person who has faith in Christ will never ultimately be at a disadvantage or be disappointed. God has not called us to have a white knuckled attitude of positive thinking, forced repetitious confessions but a calm trust in God. Faith is unrelenting obedience that places its confidence in God despite circumstances. Some times you won’t know how or why you believe.
But sadly there are those that shrink or draw back. The picture form Robertson’s Word Pictures is “lowering a sail on a sail boat.” I imagine that they have to start paddling attempting to move the ship on their own power and eventually it is an exhausting effort. We are bust trying to fix things and people in to get some peace and order but it is useless rowing with the oars of our own understanding and strength.
The Bible teaches we should be being filled or “unfurl the sails” and be filled with the Spirit of God (Eph. 5:18). God promises us that wind of the Spirit that supply us with the grace and faith we need. We need to stop all our religious paddling in anxiety, fear and doubt and ask God for the gift of his Spirit to fill us afresh with his presence. You cannot muster faith in Jesus by trying hard to believe.