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Jesus Insists on a Journey of Faith

So often we want to have everything spelled out for us clearly as we walk this long dusty road to the grave. Morbid way to put it perhaps. But that is what we do. We are on a death march to the grave unless The Life Himself (John 14:6) steps in and we’re spared that inevitable fate. But very few ever were spared death like Elijah was, and we’re not promised when exactly ALL will. No one knows the day or the hour.

Jesus insists on a journey of faith.

Our trek to higher ground, and our desire to be true to the words of Jesus that are printed in red in some translations, leads us to see that Jesus demands a journey of faith. He has not promised that the way would not be foggy or murky. He only promised to be there with us. This post is about disappointment. And more so about our response when disappointment comes. What is the evidence of our faith when we are bogged down by disappointment?

That is what this post is about.

A Lifelong Journey of Faith

I began writing this post in the midst of disappointment over what some might consider a trivial matter. That disappointment is now replaced by uncertainty at the moment. (something I am not at liberty to elaborate on or to reveal at the moment) But how do we take these things as people of faith?

I was asked recently during a job interview how I bounce back from set backs so easily.
My response was that I am determined not to be beat down by set back; that it is in me not to be.

This is a true answer but I did not at that time attribute it to my faith. Any degree of hope I have can be only attributed to two things; experience and faith. Experience in most cases shows us that things will work out. Faith helps us to embrace the idea that things will be as they are meant to be. In either case, we do not have to be beat down by set backs.

 

Experience Inspires a Journey of Faith

When I say that experience inspires a journey of faith it has to be understood that I write from nearly three decades of walking by faith. What I remember from before I was a Christian is vague. Even the verse that I am about to use to support this idea is sandwiched within a greater context and theme of faith. This verse below.

[Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.] Romans 5:1-6

The pattern here is clear; trials, patience, experience, hope. But all too often we leave off patience in the midst of trying situations and we short circuit the growth of hope brought about by experience. Put another way, perhaps we could say that the patient experience of trying circumstances brings about hope. This hope comes from the comfort of the Spirit regardless of the outcome of circumstances. This is the ‘deep answer’ to the question I was asked, “How do you do that?” How do I not allow disappointments and set backs to knock me back.

Let me be clear that my initial response is always the same as it would be with anyone else. But many of you reading this can relate to the point where we have to then make a decision. We can allow set back and disappointment to make us bitter or we can choose to NOT allow it to. We can decide that ‘it is as it should be’. In doing so we will not become bitter, we actually become better. And continuous growth is our desire, right? It is my desire. As we choose to not let it bring us down our roots go down deep and get wrapped around the firm bedrock of faith.

What is the Bible Definition of Faith?

That is a simple enough question and the answer is easy enough. Sort of. Hebrews says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. So when I say that Jesus insists on a journey of faith what I am saying is this. Jesus wants us to hope in Him and in His promises given to us through the words of those who followed Him and wrote about Him. Our journey of hope is actually substance (make the unseen visible in a sense) and our journey of faith is evidence that there is something within us keeping us from allowing set backs to knock us back. Now I know that there are some reading this that have trials that grow far deeper than a simple set back. Loss of a loved one. Loss of a long time career. Separation and pain. These things are far more prone to create bitterness than my trivial set backs can be. And yet I have talked to numerous people who, through faith, and their journey of faith, have not only survived but have thrived. the Bible definition of faith is that it is substance and evidence of things unseen. Hebrews chapter 11 gives a whole list of individuals who demonstrated this simple and yet profound definition.

My Uncertainty Creates Deeper Faith

Honestly I love walking in uncertainty at some level because it inspires within me a deeper and growing experience of faith. I am a continuous improvement projects nut. I love working on projects. I have said this on many occasions that in a midst of a project my ‘know what to do’ goes through a continuous pendulum swing. I have said that I go from knowing exactly what I have to do next, to not having a clue what to do next.

This could probably aptly explain a journey of faith too. In our lives we go from times of knowing exactly what we have to do next to not knowing exactly what to do. But we move forward. We may rest or wait or pause for a while but at some point we must move forward in our journey or we will get stuck. Jesus insists on a journey of faith because it is the way that we mature and grow. it is how we grow closer to Him.

Do you know this pendulum swing that I speak of? I would love to hear about your experience of faith in the midst of trials. I would love to learn about the tools and things that God used to reveal HImself to you in greater ways.

Please share. Comment below.

And thank you for reading this post all the way to the end. The End. Until I begin again.

Carl

6 Comments

  1. Good word, Bro!

    Interesting perspective on the pendulum swing between “knowing and not knowing”. Add to that the myriad complexities of being human and the thousands of decisions we make on any given day, from the serious to the mundane and routine.

    To walk by faith should be a “freeing” experience but I doubt we often see it that way. Sometimes true freedom, the kind that sight can’t give, takes work and persistence to keep doubt at bay.

    Thanks for provoking thought!

    ~Bob

    • Bob thank you for that. Thank you for reading to the end. As I read content stats I am amazed at how few actually do. Amazed and if I am not careful I can have a tendency to allow myself to be disappointed. Which is ironic given the content of this post. 😀

      There are so many things I want to share here with those who will receive it. Thank you for continuing to be a friend even when my time was distracted by other sites and business posts. There certainly will be more of those but not here. And I will have to manage my time more carefully. Shorter posts here probably. Shorter but more frequent posts.

      I am glad this was thought provoking for you.

      Kind regards brother.
      Talk to you soon.

      Carl

  2. I guess I have been blessed with faith, maybe because I was born and raised in church. You know what I have been through these past 4 years and never once did I ask Why me? God said in His Word that in this world we will have trials and tribulations, but then He adds I have overcome the world. Faith is tested in deep dark waters but as He brings you through the next time you’re under it you remember what He has already brought you through.

    • You’re so right Matthew. I love the Word that He had David write saying, “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” in Psalm 66. Of course the welathy place that the Lord speaks about here is not some of the wealthy places and ideas that I have talked about here recently. No it is the rich and wealthy place of faith. Of Wisdom. Of maturity. And of solid friendships. Thank you for being a good and faithful friend even though I have been busy and distant. Please believe me wne I say that I think of you almost daily. I will try to call again Sunday afternoon. Talk to you soon. -DCarl

  3. Hey Carl,

    glad to read this new thought-provoking post.

    It graciously appeared at a time of uncertainty, perhaps similar to the one you also referred to.

    As I see it, doubt and deception mostly occur when our life’s events do not line up with our desires and expectations. Although not always, this is bound to happen every time we pursue what we want instead of what God has for us in our journey of faith.

    The biggest problem I frequently encounter is that it is so easy to rationalize our desires are God-given, or that our wants are actually needs, even when we run over Scriptures pointing the opposite way.

    Fortunately, the promises of God are written for us to depend on:

    “And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: ‘This is the way. Walk in it.'”
    Isaiah 30:21

    This promise clearly points to the help of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, this verse is often interpreted to mean that the Lord is faithful to help us correct our path, but I’ve run into a wall with poor choices so many times that uncertainty and dissatisfaction seemed to be getting the best of me lately.

    Now, this next promise has always encouraged me:

    “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
    Proverbs 3:6

    However, if I truly believe that, I have to wonder how come my path often doesn’t seem so straight. Am I truly walking by faith? Is it a journey of faith or of sight?

    It turns out I have been weakened by uncertainty, simply because I’ve been wanting to know the plan before I move into the place the Lord is setting before me; that is not walking by faith.

    I thank you for emphasizing the need for moving on by faith. This is how we come to enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding: by fully trusting our Father, the All-Mighty God, whether what is set before us makes sense or not.

    Blessings my brother,

    Edwin

    • Edwin,

      I am always blessed, encouraged and inspired by your comments and posts here on our ministry site. It is so easy for us to walk a journey of sight instead of continuing on by faith. We walk by faith and not by sight is repeated so often in the New Testament and yet we seem to so often miss it. I love that God brings uncertain days when we do. There are two times that He seems to bring conflict or confusion into my plans; when I am trusting in my self and what I can see, and when I am overconfident. I may be walking by faith but not in humility. I see the same result in the circumstances of life when this is the case. Walking a journey of faith, of course, means there is a certain level of uncertainty balanced by a trust in the heart of God. And walking in uncertainty and trust also means there is a good degree of humility. I am thankful for this.

      I am also thankful for you, your faithfulness here, and your friendship. I am praying for you brother. Kind regards always. –DCarl

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