On the road to Damascus he met the resurrected Savior of the world.
His life changed for eternity.
But he had a thorn.
Don’t abandon me yet – this post has nothing to do with Paul’s thorn. But it has everything to do with the reality your faith.
Faith in Salvation
Consider what you’re trusting in for eternal life.
- Christ is Who He says He is.
- Christ lived how He claimed He lived.
- Christ died why He said He did.
- Christ rose like He promised He would.
- Christ intercedes like He says He does.
If not for all that, our faith in Him for eternal life is misplaced. If He’s not God, He’s a liar. If He didn’t live a perfect life, He cannot appease God’s wrath on our behalf. If He didn’t die, our sins could not be forgiven (Hebrews 9:22). If He did not raise from the dead, our faith is vain (I Corinthians 15:17). If He doesn’t intercede, who else will?
The entirety of our eternal security rests on 5 supernatural claims of Christ. This is powerful, this is dynamic. This is faith in Christ.
Faith in Life
Paul had his thorn. We have our trials. Do we respond to everyday life with the same faith with which we embrace our eternal life?
Do we accept the plethora of promises God pours over our souls? Do we embrace the supernatural power of God that claims to work in every moment of our lives the same way it works in our salvation?
Or do we complain, argue, gossip, worry, and fear?
If that’s the case, your faith may be a fairy tale.
A Fairy Tale Faith
I don’t believe in Santa Claus. That’s why I don’t worry about my Christmas presents.
I don’t believe in the tooth fairy. That’s why my children don’t put their teeth under their pillows.
I don’t believe Communism is a good system of government, that’s why I don’t live like a communist.
So what does it mean when someone who claims to be a Christian doesn’t live like one?
It means they put as much stock in their faith in God as they do their faith in Santa. How can we trust a God with anything if He’s too impotent to orchestrate my trials to bring Himself glory and me good? If God allows does things in my life worth complaining or gossiping about, if God allows events to occur that deserve my anger, if God is too weak that I must fear the men around me . . . HOW ON EARTH CAN I TRUST HIM WITH MY ETERNAL SALVATION?!?!
A Real Faith
This is how Paul responded to he every-day trials:
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong [emphasis mine].” II Corinthians 12:9-10
Paul’s faith in God extended beyond his salvation from Hell to every instance in his life. It didn’t matter what happened to him, he would be content because He knew His God was in control.
This has significant impact beyond our personal lives as well. I believe one reason we’re not adding to the church as they did in Acts is the Lost see us living a Fairy Tale Faith. They hear us talk about the future “happily ever after,” but they see us live in practical atheism. They watch us deny the daily faith that should grow naturally from our eternal faith. They see us sling dirt on Facebook, yell at umps, complain about the weather, fume when we’re cut off on the road, suffer anxiety attacks, ignore our parental obligations, fake our worship, mouth our prayer, become depressed, act like hypocrites, and basically deny by our lifestyle everything we say we believe.
But the reality is our Sanctifying Faith should be exactly the same as our Saving Faith . . . or we’re living a lie.
Is your faith a Fairy Tale Faith?
Compare your daily words, actions, and feelings to God’s Word. Where you find discrepancies, align them to His revealed truth, and your faith will be real.
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
“You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” James 2:19-20
Evermind God’s promises. Evermind His Word. Evermind His love.