young-adults

FAITH SIMPLIFIED

– Mike Beecraft

I used to run a children’s after-school program. When parents would ask if our program was faith-based, I hesitated to instantly reply “yes,” because it could mean that the child wouldn’t be allowed to attend.

But because I’m an honest person, I’d answer truthfully—then follow with the thought: isn’t every program out there faith-based? This created interesting opportunities to share that every person living is a person of faith. Then, with varied success, the parent would sometimes allow their child.

In Christendom, faith is surrounded by mystic confusion. Some believe faith is a force (like The Force) that we learn to master and use to turn life the way we want, an energy ball mustered up to obliterate our problems. If we could just have enough faith, we could achieve prosperity, health, and accomplish all our goals.

The word “faith” in the New Testament is the Greek word “pistis,” which means belief, assurance, firm conviction, and reliance upon for salvation.

To put it simply, faith is trust and belief in something or someone. By this Biblical definition, everyone’s living by faith. Everyone’s trusting in something or someone.

Here’s the good news. Hebrew 12:2 tells us to “look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.” The great thing about a believer’s faith is that Jesus is the one who authored it and the one who finished it—just in case we thought we had to finish what He started.

The author is the one who creates the characters, puts together the story, and knows everything that will happen from beginning to end. Jesus is a kind author; even when we face hardship and trials, we know He’s written a good ending for us.

When you need more confidence, look to Philippians 1:6; Paul tells the Philippians that he is “confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

It’s the beauty of our faith. While it doesn’t ensure a problem-free life, it ensures that, despite problems, we have an author who brings us to completion in Him. Whatever tomorrow brings, He’s still the one who completes the good He started—the ultimate good of eternity with Him.

No amount of earthly “badness” can take us away from the eternal good that Christ provides. He has authored our trust and belief in him, so we rest in that knowing ultimately our faith can’t be shaken. Here in this reality lies a gospel freedom the situations of life can never rob.

Ephesians 6:16 reminds us of the armour that God provides us, one piece being the shield of faith. “In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, in which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” So when the flaming darts come, I hold up the shield with the utmost confidence, knowing it’s made by a heavenly blacksmith who crafted it perfectly to be able to take the hit, every time.

So Christian, hold up your shield! Because your trust and belief isn’t in the shield itself, but in the one who made it. Rest easy. Christ has got you forever.