Faith in spite of reasons to doubt

My sermon Sunday was from Acts 3 about God, through Peter and John, healing and allowing a lame man to walk.  I’ve heard it preached over and over and I have preached that story myself more than once.  I have heard it preached from the perspective of helping others, as Peter did.  I have also heard it preached from the perspective of the lame man who, after all those years of begging outside the temple, was finally healed and received grace.  This time, there was a “gut punch” ending though that left the congregation in silence, and some in tears. I ended it from the perspective of the other lame beggars who sat and begged for years near the formerly lame man.  While the Scripture does not mention them, I know from experience that they were there.  There is no way there was only one person begging in such a busy spot.

Why is it that one person receives healing and another does not?  I know all the kind things to say, “God needed him/her” blah, blah, blah.  But the truth is, there are often no answers and we have to find peace with that.  Anyone who has a persevering faith in Jesus does so in the face of seasons of and reasons to doubt.

Today, there is a family remembering the 4th birthday of their beloved little Liam (pictured). He is celebrating it in heaven.  They had him for three years, two months, and seven days.  They have kept their faith in spite of having reasons to doubt.  There is an amazing woman from our church who has chronic pain that has her really incapacitated right now.  I sent her this text this morning:

 

I’m reading about the power that came to the disciples when the Holy Spirit came. Then I think about the fact that we have the same power. Yet I do not understand how it says we can ask for things and we do not receive them, how we have His power and feel powerless. All of this as I pray for you.

I said earlier that there are often no answers.  Ultimately, I see this as the answer to our “why” questions.  I am convinced that the assurance of our Christian faith is found in and through the trials.  It is proof to ourselves that we love Jesus because He loves us, not because of what we can get from Him or because he gives us what we want.  If we only love a God because He runs a candy store (as Eileen says) and lets us choose whatever we want, we do not love God.  The truth is we love the candy.  And He is the means to get what we love.  Maintaining our faith when we suffer and mourn, and when others seem to get the blessings we desire… that kind of faith is actually the greatest blessing of all.

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This entry was posted in Hard times, Obstacles, Opportunity, Walking the Walk and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Faith in spite of reasons to doubt

  1. This is probably my favorite post of yours in a long time. The perspective of Acts 3 gave me chills, I can’t imagine how much more potent it would have been to hear you preach it.

    • Thanks for always sending me encouraging comments. You are an encouragement to me – a Barnabas, if you will. (Google “Barnabas, son of encouragement” to see what I mean). Blessings upon you!

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