Friday, November 07, 2014

Exercising Faith When Doing So Also Puts You in a Place That Includes Pain or Sorrow

Faith in God, the first principle of the gospel, is not knowledge.  "Faith really is enduring to the end in the face of not knowing or experiencing confirmation" * before OR after you act on that faith.

Acting with faith in God is easiest if the thing you feel God calling you to do looks logical and good and pleasurable and is intrinsically so when you do it.  It is harder when the thing you are called to do looks hard, but as you struggle through it you find intrinsic goodness in it.  It is hardest when it looks hard and it is painful to go through and you feel exhausted and drained and beaten for as long as you do it.

Singing well in a really good choir or acting in a fun church skit might be an example of the first.  Teaching a class of students who you find challenging or raising rambunctious children may be an example of the second.  Gethsemane and Golgatha are the ultimate examples of the third.

We tend to talk more about the first and second kinds of moving forward with faith.  We don't talk much about the reality of the way that third kind plays out in many lives.  Perhaps it is because of the belief that "righteousness brings happiness" or our strong inclination to celebrate joy.  But the fact remains, as Jesus' experience bears witness, sometimes acting on faith involves experiences that are extremely painful, that do not seem to offer any relief as we go through them, and that others who watch us as we act upon that faith will view as a pointless tragedy and as a result will counsel us to avoid doing what we feel called to do.

Jesus life and the life of his early apostles contain examples of all three kinds of faith experiences, including the one that teaches us that sometimes living by faith involves experiencing something that reminds us of Gethsemane or Golgatha.

Thanks to D. for his post who reminded me of this.

*You can read D's post HERE


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