Hi! Glad you came to join me today. It’s January – it’s cold – so grab a cuppa something warm and find a cozy place to sit. I promised you a couple of weeks ago that I would share my word for the year with you. Drum roll, please… and my word for the year 2015 is… one that I actually had a few years ago. This year it has an entirely new meaning… the word is: Faith.
Some years ago I needed that word, Faith, to remind me that God was still there, that He still loved me, and that I could still find my way to Him. I’d been in a very dry place for several years, and parts of me wanted to give up on God altogether. For awhile, the only verse of Scripture I could remember (aside from John 3:16, For God so loved the world…) was another verse from John – John 6:68: Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life “. (RSVCE.) The truth in that single verse of Scripture kept me hanging on for a few more years. Yes, years. That spiritual desert was very big and took 8 years to cross.
The other verse that kept coming to me during that time period was Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (NASB) The keys to this one were to believe that God exists, and that He would reward anyone who ‘diligently’ sought Him. That meant I had to acknowledge that I did believe that He was there – in the deepest part of my heart, I knew it. I was trying to fool myself when things weren’t great in my life, or were downright painful, trying to convince myself that there couldn’t really be a God if this was how bad life was going to be. That’s a topic for another post.
The other piece to that one was that I had to ‘diligently’ seek Him. One definition put it this way: ‘persistent personal attention” . That meant I couldn’t just go to church for an hour on Sunday, expecting the pastor to ‘find God for me’ in a 30-minute sermon. It meant I had to actually pick up the Bible from the desk, open it and read it. Diligence required me to at least attempt honest prayer – and more than spewing anger at God over how unfair and painful my life was, or demanding a good parking spot at the grocery store or something equally trivial in the grand scheme of things. Honest prayer is also another topic for another day.
If you read on from the verse in John 6, verse 69 elaborates: “and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Belief precedes knowing. Knowing that Jesus is the Holy One of God puts us in an entirely different place in life. Faith demanded that I own up to what I already believed – that God was there, that Jesus is His Holy One. If I really wanted to know Him, I could; but it would require serious effort on my part. Serious effort in the aspect of being intentional about it.
This year, faith is something different. I’m quite firmly established in my belief that He is God, He rewards those who seek Him, and that Jesus is the Holy One of God. He’s God, I’m not; He blesses me with things that make me happy; He also blesses me with trials to make me grow in holiness. This year, faith is daring to believe what He’s clearly showing me about several areas of my life. Last November, faith let me get on a plane and go to Israel. This year I’m getting on a plane and going to Rome. Faith is leading me into the Catholic Church. Faith is daring me to believe I was made for something other than a 9-5 desk job. Faith is daring me to step out and do new things – like this blog. New things – like leading Christmas carols at a church where I’m one of the newest attendees, not even a member yet. New things – like writing and working toward being published, things that will help others grow in faith. This year, Faith looks like believing and doing, even if some of the actions don’t make logical sense at the time.
I think I’ll continue that train of thought in another post.
What is your word this year? Thank about it… then explore what it means in your life this year. It’s always an adventure!