Focus of Faith

Often in my quiet times with the Lord as I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned from his word, I will muse about how first century Christians had an advantage over us by being in his presence and hearing him speak and teach God’s truth and work spectacular miracles. I can’t help but think what a rock solid faith we would have, even to the point where it would no longer be faith, but fact, unquestionable and undeniable…​reality, how could it not? But as I climb back up out of the rabbit hole of deep thought, and add up all the facts, I realize that we are really not disadvantaged at all.

When I evaluate my own faith, I know that there is nothing anyone can say to me that would make me change my mind about my belief in God, his word and 'what is unseen'. When we consider all the first hand eye witnesses that did see Jesus perform miracles and teach God’s word and no detractor could refute anything Jesus said or did, and gave no proofs against them, the only conclusion you can honestly make is that those things are true and are then to believed, which we have.

When each subsequent generation of believers taught the next generation after the first century, Christians spread the blessed gospel to them, obeying Christ’s command to teach all men what he taught them, you see the splendid endless cycle of 'teaching and belief' that has gone on over the centuries right up to us. One generation teaching the next, so that even the miracles that we didn’t see first hand we can believe with all certainty because those who were first hand eye-witnesses wrote it all down for us; and by God’s powerful word he preserves the integrity and reliability of it for us.

There-in lies the reason I have stopped thinking that we are disadvantaged being so far removed from the beginnings of Christianity; we have a reliable chain of witnesses and God’s powerful word protecting all that we have come to believe in. Plus this, Peter, even though he was a firsthand eye-witness of miracle after miracle still had at times a weak faith and doubted. When he asked the Lord to command him to come out on the water, he had the faith to get out of the boat, but because of the ferocious wind and waves, after his first few steps, he took his attention and focus off of the Lord and focused on what scared him, and he started sinking, and he did the only thing a person can do when they’re about to be swallowed up by 'life’s problems', he cried out, “Lord save me!”

The aposle Paul encourages us with these words, 'walk by faith, not by sight.' Peter was walking by sight and not by faith. As we all have to do, we sometimes have to learn the hard way, and sometimes we need to repeat a mistake several times before we 'get it'. For us who have never 'seen', we have to “Fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen, is eternal. Let’s not lose our focus, the Lord and his mission work. That is the only way to please God, we must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. We have an advantage over those who did 'see', Jesus said to Thomas, when he finally believed that Jesus rose from the dead, “Blessed are those who believe and have not seen.”

Friends- be focused and BELIEVE! Jim