Thursday, January 29, 2009

Articles of Faith: I

The constitution of the human spirit balances between two states: that which is good, and that which the average person perceives as evil. This dichotomy is not so much opposing as they are two sides of the same coin. We cannot feel guilt without knowing shame. We cannot experience joy with out knowing pain. We must know darkness in order to recognize the light when it shines. The book of Ecclesiastes describes the struggle to embrace both, and assures the faithful that every moment spent walking in the shadows will be matched by clear skies. There is a time for everything in God's perfect plan: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to laugh and a time to cry - all are necessary, and therefore good. This is hard to accept when your stuck in the funky muck, but consider this: how else can we grow in faith if we don't go through tribulation? If the coal doesn't undergo sufficient pressure, how can the diamond be mined?

That being said, the first article of faith is simple: God is good, all the time. It is on this article that this blog is based. Interestingly enough, it is this first article that is most often attacked by the the enemy, especially during times like these. When doubt and worry bleed through the headlines, we hear hostile threats in our minds - "you can't" "it's impossible" "give up!" Oh, that devil - what a liar! Yet even obvious lies are believed when fear is at an all time high. People grow desperate; they'll believe anything, and do things they wouldn't normally do to get by. This is the faith test: what will you do when you are tried by fire? Remember, he who has faith without works is dead. In other words, what's the point of having faith if it is not tested?

We need to recognize that in order for faith to grow exceedingly, our trials must increase. It hardly seems fair, as if we are being set up to fail. But that, too, is a lie. The greatest stories ever told illustrate that though the antagonist appears to being winning in the middle chapters, the villain loses in the end. That's the good news - we are victorious in the last chapter! So keep reading, your life is God's on-going story. Be the character that refuses to surrender to despair. Secure your armour, strap on your sword, and dare the enemy to do his worst. Cry out name of Jesus and slay those minions - doubt, insecurity, worry, anxiety - bind them all up and cast'em into hell where they belong! You are greater than your circumstance; your circumstance is temporary, you are eternal! Fight with faith and you will receive your reward!

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