God's word in today's world

Build a bridge with faith


Ephesians 6:10-20

I often say: Life is not easy! That is so. Life is not easy. So much is expected of us. The bar of life is often lifted just that little bit higher, even though we are already struggling to get over the lower height. The possibility of failure becomes so much bigger. Sometimes it‘s like war and then the devil also appears to try his luck.

Therefore, it is so important to heed Paul’s advice about the clothes that we should put on to prevent us getting lost. For the Greek soldier his shield was very important. With his shield he could stop everything coming his way and protect himself.

In our Christian armour the shield is just as important and without this defence mechanism the chance that the enemy will wound us becomes so much bigger: 16 … and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one.

I received an e-mail from a friend who struggles to believe:

You know, Gerjo Ben, I’m a scientist, my brain work in an analytical way.  I will figure out and understand a mathematical calculation or a chemical compound, no problem. But I simply cannot get my head around the fact that someone died for my sin.

I’ve done some very bad things and I struggle every day when some of my colleagues make trunk calls by using the Lord’s name in vain. I hate it, but I deny Jesus by saying nothing.

I simply cannot figure out the concept that Jesus was tortured for me and died for me. I accept it, but I don’t understand it. Is it “normal” to struggle with this or is it only me?

Yes, my friend is completely normal, because many of us struggle to understand that Jesus loves us so much that He was prepared to die for our sin. It is easier to think that someone will take punishment for someone good, but for a bad person? It remains difficult to understand. It’s as if there is this great wide valley between where we are and where we should be.

We must get to the other side of the valley. We must get to God. We must build a bridge, because without the shield something will definitely go wrong. And the only way we can build the bridge over that deep valley is to work on our relationship with God. It is within an intimate relationship with God that our bridge of faith is built piece by piece.

In a way our brain moves into the background and we start experiencing God. It becomes more of a heart thing. Less figuring out and starting to change into acceptance and faith. At times you experience things you cannot explain. Things we regard as coincidence, because that is all that makes sense. But as your relationship with God becomes more intimate, when you and God are attuned, coincidence gets a new name: Acceptance.

Hebrews 11 gives us a definition of faith: 1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Modern English Version). Faith is the bridge that we build to get to the inexplicable things, the God things of hope and promises and dying on the cross. And the closer we move to God, the easier it becomes to build the bridge.

Reflection

Can you believe even though you do not understand?

How close are you to God?

Are you convinced of the things you cannot see?

Prayer

Lord, it’s good to know You, but I sometimes struggle to understand. Please help me to love You more with my heart, because the more I trust and love You, the less I need to understand. Amen

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