Anxiety, Faith and Fog
This works for Christians who have been “born again,” and I hope it could work for ANYONE AND EVERYONE who begin to call on the name of the Lord Jesus: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6&7, NIV) And if that peace doesn’t come immediately, don’t give up, keep seeking.
Jesus said, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.” and He continued, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:5–10, NIV)
Now, as I continue to learn, color me curious… The word “faith” clouds my understanding that whenever I read it in the Bible, I seem to trip over it like an exposed root and need to regain my balance, look around to get my bearings, and then keep on trucking. The overuse of “faith” has made its meaning and importance trite and stale. Perhaps these two divergent definitions I grew up with are the source of my brain fog:
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, BASED ON SPIRITUAL APPREHENSION RATHER THAN PROOF (emphasis mine).” (from Google documents definitions) … and I might surmise that “spiritual” in this case could just as well mean “superstitious.” So #2. Is probably making me more unstable in my hike for understanding.
However, I have found clarity in this excerpt from the book of Hebrews… It dissipates the fog: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Because, as I’ve said before, God does not require us to remove our heads, that is to stop thinking, assessing, reasoning. Instead, He is quite willing and able to answer our questions and even our challenges to His existence. He did so 2,000+ years ago with religious leaders, ordinary folks, and disciples alike, and He does so today. Yes, He provides both substance and assurance. “… and the ordinary folks heard Him eagerly…” (see Mark 12:37) Faith has more to do with the acts of faithfulness than a stagnant mindset of apprehension and speculation. It has more to do with interaction and growth than with doctrinal confinements from presumptuous apprehensions. In the Bible, it is just as much a verb as it is a noun…
Unfortunately, it is partly up to those of us born again christians to testify, to witness to, to demonstrate substance and to give assurance through our lives and our personal experiences of what God has and is doing in our lives. After all, what is our hope we are trying to share?
Therefore, allow me to persist: If He wasn’t doing anything in my life, if I was only expressing my APPREHENSIONS, I wouldn’t bother trying to convince you or anyone of anything. I would let you all alone to stew in your own juices. I would not try to convince anyone that God exists and that He loves you, one and all, and He has a much better plan for your life than you do or that you ever will. I would be raising disputes like so many cynical people do, not proposing “to offer or suggest a possible plan or action for others to consider as actual answers,” (paraphrased from Cambridge Dictionary)… Why offer answers to questions never asked… Not for nothing.