God's word in today's world

Ordinary faith


All Christians are called to show the world with their words in whom they believe. And similarly, their way of doing must also be in line with God’s will. That is why it is so important that everything we do should start with love. The next very important building block for Christians is to show the world how we believe. 12Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity.

When you face trials and tribulations and curveballs, faith is often the first thing that disappears. Is that true of your life too?

This is incomprehensible, because what we must hold onto, what must keep us standing in hard times, is the first thing that slips away. We make it so much harder for ourselves to get through difficult times if we allow our faith to go.

While we were on holiday in the Southern Cape, I thought it would be a good thing to take my son on a deep-sea fishing trip because we have so little time in the year to do things together.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been on such a fishing boat – I found it very interesting. There were about 10 guys and three crewmen on board. Two of the crewmen’s job was to help you bait your hooks and sort out tangled fishing lines – which happened quite often.

We didn’t catch much and my son’s comment when we were back on land was rather to the point: “Dad, we had to pay so much money to find out that neither of us actually likes fishing!” That made me laugh!

The day itself was not so bad, since we were lucky enough to cruise with a school of a few hundred porpoises for some time. We had a good chat and enjoyed our time together. At one time, while we were peacefully waiting for a bite, I suddenly thought of Peter. I mentioned it to my son and asked him if he would have walked on the water. He’s always quick with an answer and immediately said yes.

Then I saw him looking at the water and his “yes” became less convincing, changing into a: “I don’t know …”

That illustrates our lives. We’re quick to talk about our faith. Intellectually, we know everything about faith, but in practice, when we see how deep the water is and how high the swell, our faith weakens. That is understandable, because we’re totally helpless against strong power. We cannot stand against those big swells in the sea and the deep waters beneath our boat. They are simply too big, too deep, too strong. We can be overwhelmed all at once.

In this we’re all the same. But we shouldn’t stay down and hide behind human excuses. We must overcome these shortcomings and when our faith is shaky, we have to pick up God’s Word, find and express his promises one by one, so that they can become part of our being and prevent our faith from slipping away. When we spend time with God’s Word, we are changed and walk away with a faith that is grounded and strong enough to withstand the storms.

When things are hard, my go to verse is Isaiah 43: When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.

Scripture

1 Timothy 4:6-16

Reflection

Where does your faith sometimes waver?

Is your faith an example to others?

How can you put your faith into action?

Prayer

Father, I know my shortcomings. I know my faith is too shaky. But I hold onto You with everything I have. It will not work without You. Amen.

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