For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God;
Ephesians 2:8 AMP
This is one of my favorite verses because it summarizes the Gospel-God calls, God saves, God keeps.
It’s ALL God.
Sadly, my human heart can forget this so easily. I can begin to lean on my “good works” or “holy habits” or the testimony of my “faith journey” instead of resting solely in the enduring love of my Faithful Father.
So when hard times come (and they do) and my faith falters (and it will) I become insecure and frightened and concerned that I will ultimately be lost. Because I have shifted the responsibility from God to me.
And I know I’m not strong enough to hold on.
When Dominic ran ahead to heaven my mind was riddled with unanswered questions. “Why?” “Where were You?” “What are You doing in this?”
Those questions ate holes in my faith.
But it’s not ME holding onto God-it’s GOD holding onto me.
The strength of my faith doesn’t determine whether or not His promise is fulfilled, because if it did, there would be no hope.
So, I refuse to have faith in “faith”.
Instead I have faith in an unchanging, everlasting Faithful Father.
You can’t hold your breath forever.
But when you first learn your child is dead you want to–oh, how you want to.
I don’t know if it was defiance or hope that made me certain that if I could just stop breathing, I could freeze time.
Read the rest here: Hallelujah is an Exhale
Part of our homeschooling routine was Bible reading.
I’ll never forget the first time I came to Hebrews chapter 11, often referred to as the “Hall of Faith”.
Now faith means putting our full confidence in the things we hope for, it means being certain of things we cannot see. It was this kind of faith that won their reputation for the saints of old. And it is after all only by faith that our minds accept as fact that the whole scheme of time and space was created by God’s command—that the world which we can see has come into being through principles which are invisible.
Hebrews 11:1-3 PHILLIP
From there the writer lists those who followed God even when the path was dark, even when the promise was beyond sight and even when it cost them their lives.
I remember thinking that maybe one day the children looking at me around that table might face a crisis of faith and I prayed that they would always choose to believe.
I never dreamed that it would be ME that had to wake up each morning and make that choice over and over again.
I’m not talking about the single, life-changing commitment to receive forgiveness through Christ’s blood.
But rather obedience to keep following His lead and strength to walk in His footsteps day after day regardless of how I feel or what I can or cannot see.
The choice I have to make is whether or not to turn my heart toward His, to open my ears to His voice, and to bend my will to accept whatever storms He allows in my life.
Suffering is NOT a choice, but faith is.