Wonder Faith = Faith that makes you wonder.

I was talking with a friend recently and he was describing a friend of ours as a “man of faith.”   I thought about that description and agreed, it was true.  But the more I thought about it the more I realized we are all people of faith.  Christians have faith in God.  Muslims have faith in Allah.  Miami has faith in Lebron.  Children have faith in their parents.  Even an athiest has faith…in himself.   Everyone has faith in someone or something.   Everyday we place our trust somewhere; people, chairs, vehicles, banks, dead-bolt locks, etc.   The question is not whether we have faith.  The real question is where do we place it?

God simplifies the discussion of faith.  From His perspective, you either have faith in Him (the Creator) or faith in His creation.  There is no middle ground.  Throughout the Bible, God calls His people to trust Him.   Throughout the Bible, they don’t.

Last summer my five year old and I were enjoying some time in the pool.   While he was standing on the side, I asked him to jump to me in the four foot section.  He refused.  I told him he was safe.  He refused.  I told him that I would catch him.  He refused.  I told him I would not let his head go under.  He refused.  I told him that the little girl over there does it all the time.  He refused.  I told him I would give him $1.00.  He refused.  I told him it would be fun.  He refused.  NOTHING I tried would convince him to do it.  Though he would not articulate it like this, it was obvious why he did not jump.  He simply did not trust me.   I was very frustrated, since I know my abilities.  I was also kind of hurt.  And then it hit me.   Every day, we communicate the same thing to God.

  • When we don’t tithe, we are telling Him we do not trust Him with our finances.
  • When we date people we shouldn’t, we are telling Him we do not trust Him with our relationships.
  • When we take revenge, we are telling Him we do not trust Him to handle the situation.
  • When we steal, we are telling Him we do not trust Him to provide.
  • When we indulge in our addictive behaviors, we are telling Him that we do not trust Him to handle our problems.

Throughout the Bible, God is constantly challenging us to trust Him.  Twice Jesus is recorded as being moved by our faith.

  1. In the first passage (Matthew 8), Jesus witnesses the faith of a Roman Centurion and is stunned by what He sees.   A Roman Centurion would NOT be someone anyone in Palestine would call a “man of faith.”   And yet, he was.   Instead of his faith being placed in Caesar, this centurion trusted Christ to heal his servant.   And Jesus noticed.  He always notices when our faith is placed in the right direction.   “Now when Jesus heard (the centurion’s faith), He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.”   (Apparently the faith of this pagan centurion was greater than the faith of His disciples Peter, James & John.  That would make me marvel too.)
  2. In Mark 6, Jesus is spending time in His hometown of Nazareth.   While He was there, a discussion breaks out over His true identity.  “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James?”, they asked.  “Where did this man get these things“, they wondered.   Yes, He was a man.  But He was also God and those closest to Him couldn’t see it.   We are told that Jesus did not perform any miracles there.   As was His custom, He would never do a miracle for people who did not trust Him.  After all, He was not a dog and pony show.  He would not “throw His pearls before swine.”  Before He left HIS backyard, “He wondered at their unbelief.”

When God looks at my life, would my faith make Him marvel or just make Him wonder?   There are some areas of my life that I trust God alot.  If I am honest, there are other areas where I don’t trust Him at all.  It’s ludicrous, if you think about it.   I stand on the edge of His pool and I refuse to jump in.   I cling to all my worthless excuses as if they are legitimate.  I know He is able to catch me.  I know He has my best interests in mind.  I know that I won’t drown.  I know I would enjoy “life more abundantly” (John 10:10) if I took that leap of faith.  But I don’t.  I stand by the edge, even for years, wondering what would it be like to swim in His ocean of faith.

Where are you in relation to His pool?   Are you on the side of the pool as well?   What is He calling you to do?  Break up with that boyfriend?  Quit your job?  Start that business?  Make that phone call?  Write that letter?   Forgive that person?  Love that man?  Embrace your past?   Move to that state?  Marry that girl?  Give that money?  Go on that mission trip?  Downsize your house?   Pray that prayer?  Go to seminary?  Quit that habit?   Join that church?

Put simply, we either trust Him or we don’t.   He can marvel at our faith or wonder why we won’t trust Him.   There is no middle ground.  We are either standing on the edge or we are swimming in the pool.   I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being dry.

In my Bible, I have the following poem taped on the inside cover.  It is a constant reminder to me to trust God with my future:

“I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, “Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”  And he replied, “Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God.  That shall be to you better than the light and safer than the known!”  So I went forth and finding the hand of God, trod gladly into the night.” – M. Louise Haskins

If you were to count every verse in the Bible and determine the exact middle verse – it would be this one: Psalm 118:8.   At the very center of His word, this is God’s message to us:

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

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About Rod Arters

As a former youth worker, business owner, school teacher, coach and inmate, Rod has the unique ability to relate to almost anyone in whatever situation they are in. His thought-provoking blog about life, mistakes, faith, hope & grace has been read in over 175 countries. A popular writer & speaker, Rod draws from his deep well of biblical knowledge and personal pain to encourage others along the broken journey to wholeness. He hosts an invitation-only private Facebook group for men (called Brother's Keeper) and enjoys helping others find Hope in the midst of their painful situations. He currently resides in Charlotte, NC.
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10 Responses to Wonder Faith = Faith that makes you wonder.

  1. Dell says:

    Good one! Makes you think!

  2. A beautiful post, and I like how you joined your own faith questions to your son’s. We ask a lot of our children, that’s for sure. Never has this been more clear to me than the times my son has undergone surgery. And when we are rewarded with faith, when I see either of my children turn to me in a time of need, there is no greater feeling than to know I can be there for them. Even though your son wasn’t ready to jump into the pool, I hope you can take comfort in the fact that you were there for him. Ready.

  3. Jason Alan says:

    There is a big difference between trust and faith. You child didn’t trust you because he was scared and wasn’t completely sure if you actually would catch him. That’s understandable, though. Fear of the unknown is natural, and one day he will jump, then he will trust you when you do catch him. But faith is different. Miami doesn’t have faith in Lebron. He has proven that he is a good athlete, so they trust him. I have trust in a chair that I have sat down on a thousand times because it hasn’t broken any of those times. Conversely, having worked in maintenance for years, I can drill through a deadbolt lock and enter a house in less than 30 seconds, therefore I have little trust in them. Trust has a basis in experience and evidence. Faith, on the other hand, is not based on proven facts. People have faith in God because they do not have prior experience, but for the same reason, only the most gullible can have trust in God

    I am not bashing your faith or religion, by the way. Believe what you want to, just keep an open mind.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Jason,
      I appreciate you reading and commenting on my blog. I have to disagree though, even using your own logic against you. People do not have faith in God because they do not have prior experience. People have faith in God because they have seen Him work in their lives in the past. Their trust in God had a basis in experience and evidence and therefore they put their faith in Him. Faith and trust go hand in hand, I think it’s impossible to separate them. You cannot say you trust in a chair and at the same time say you have no faith in it to hold you. The reason you have faith is because of your trust. Trust builds faith.

  4. This is great. Sometimes I wonder how long God will wait in the pool for me to trust Him and jump.

    • Rod Arters says:

      Assume He won’t wait… it will make you jump sooner. In that moment of free fall, you’ll simultaneously realize you have never been so exposed and never have been so secure.

  5. Good words…thanks!

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