“The righteous will live by faith” – Romans 1:17
I read this verse the other day and something in it made me stop for a moment and ponder the idea: what does it mean to live by faith? In Christian circles, we throw this term around like confetti, yet, the question remains: what does it look like?
During class today, one of my grade 10s opened up about how her dad has been diagnosed with cancer and he hasn’t had the op yet so they’re still not too sure how bad it is… she goes to my church, so I knew I could encourage her by reminding her that God has plans for her family and they needed to stand in faith for healing. Her reply left me breathless, “Yes, I am trying to live by faith and be strong for my family, but I can’t stop getting emotional and crying.” And then it hit me.
Living by faith is not easy. And its not pretty. And its not for people who have everything under control and “sorted”. Its the opposite. Its ugly and messy and tough – it takes guts to live by faith! I think of the times in my life when faith was the only thing getting me by and I honestly shudder at memories of those times. I was a wreck! I remember feeling absolutely lost, out of control and hanging on by a thread. And I remember tears. Lots of ugly, hot, pouring down my face tears. I was taking my hurt, my confusion, my pain to Daddy God: I was pouring my heart out in His presence. But I was living by faith.
Living by Faith is not dependent on our circumstances or even our ability to control our emotions and “be strong”. Living by faith means picking ourselves up, dragging our emotions along behind us and crawling into the presence of our Daddy God, choosing (often despite our emotions or circumstances) to trust that not only does He exist, but he loves us and is in the storm with us – and more than that, that He has a Plan which centres on our victory (whatever that may look like). Living by faith means taking our situations, hearts, family, lives to Jesus and laying them at His feet, trusting Him to come through for us. And that, takes a great deal of faith.
And yes, most times, when we are called to live by faith, we are called to step out of our comfort zones or areas of control – much like Peter was called out of the boat and out onto the waves. Okay, yes, those waves may be a little on the scary side, but living by faith reminds us that we’re not stepping out into the Unknown; we’re taking a step towards Jesus (and greater intimacy with him) and the waves are just the path we need to walk. Each step forward is a step closer to Him; with every step forward we hear His voice more clearly, growing in relationship with Him. Living by faith is the greatest adventure anyone can embark upon.
May I ask that if you’re reading this, would you mind saying a prayer for my little Grade 10? I trust that not only will God heal her father, but He will walk beside her every step of the way until He does. I pray she may know God as her Refuge, her Shelter, her Rock, her Hope, her Healer, her Comforter… and that as she seeks Him, may she not only find Him, but may she experience Great Reward for being a young woman who chooses to live by faith.