“What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life–and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us–what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” ~I John 1:1-3
Dear praying friends,
I’ve been thinking a whole lot more about faith these days. If someone were to ask me (I haven’t been asked this yet), “How do you know your husband is in heaven? How do you know he is whole and healed? How do you know he has more joy now than he ever had on this earth?”, I’d have to reply, “If you mean by to ‘know’ that I could prove it to you, then I honestly don’t ‘know’. I don’t know that he is any of these things for I can’t prove any of this to you or to myself.”
By faith, however, what I can do is feel the breath of my Savior and hear His words when He said, “It is finished.” I can see His outstretched hands pierced with nails, and then look, as the early morning sun breaks forth into His tomb and see the emptiness of dispelled darkness. I can hear the angel say, “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.” ~Matthew 28:6 Because of that, I am as sure of his (Chris’s) resurrection, as I am of His (Christ’s).
And in this new and wondrous, though at times lonely venture I can feel the very nearness of my Father–when my heart is breaking for a child whose own heart is near to breaking as it is tonight. “He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.” ~Psalms 147:3
I can hear Him say, “My grace is sufficient for you,” (II Corinthians 12:9) when after a very long day of one thing after another going wrong I’m fighting to resist the temptation to think I’ve been abandoned and am all alone with this mess. “The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.” ~Psalms 146:18
I can cling to my Father’s very breath when He says to me, “When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” ~Isaiah 43:2
For what is faith worth if it can’t take steps, even halting ones, in the darkness and sing songs in the night? Faith is what it means to put my arms around a child who is struggling with sin, in hope that God will reach that child’s heart and draw him or her to Himself. Faith is what reminds me that “joy cometh in the morning” when I’ve been weeping all day.
Faith is what whispers in my ear, “The Lord keeps all who love Him,” and “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35a) when the accuser of my soul would, because of my sin, have me doubt the Lord’s saving love for me.
Oh, friend, if you haven’t guessed by now, I am shouting the gospel to myself because I want to fight the good fight; I want to lay hold of His promises for me! My heart is heavy within me these past few weeks, but what does “the righteousness based on faith” (Romans 10:6,8) speak? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’–that is the word of faith we are preaching.”
So bear with me, dear friends, if you will, as I work through my doubt and discouragement and concern. My heavy heart looks up to Him who never leaves me nor forsakes me.
And wherever you are right now, may you feel His breath, hear His whispers, and by faith, cling to the good of His Words. ‘Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” ~Romans 10:11