When speaking to someone who has experienced a terrible tragedy or is going through a difficult time of trial some will ask, “How are you getting through this?” and from certain people the answer is “by faith” or “by the grace of God” and when this is the response I am sure some askers may be thinking ‘what does that mean?’
Well for me to understand it better I would go to the Guide Book for Life…the Bible.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
Faith is based on hope and belief…these my friends are both choices in our life. This is why so many of us struggle with faith while living in this world. We live with in a world expecting immediate satisfaction, convenience and me first…not to mention the constant presence of evil and temptations.
As I have reflected this week on the passing of Nelson Mandela all I can think is ‘Wow now that is truly a man of faith.’ The world treated him horribly for so long but he never gave up his hope or his beliefs that the world could be a better place and he could contribute to that with God’s help. Many organizations are printing quotes from Nelson Mandela in the last few days as we all want to know more about a person who worked for justice in the world…here are a few.
“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”
There are many people who will write judgments both positive and negative about Nelson Mandela because of things he did during his life. I believe by faith that he tried to do what he believed God wanted him to do and he didn’t just wake up one day and decide to do it. It happened as a part of his journey…his life journey and his faith journey. He wasn’t perfect, he had his sins just like the rest of us but he also made choices to help others, to be a positive influence and to try and bring justice to other human beings in God’s world.
God has promised many things and it is up to each of us to choose to have hope and to believe in the things we do not see. We will often fail and fall down but we should never quit. If we base our faith on how we feel instead of what Christ did for us we will have a difficult time sustaining a faith that is stable and growing. Faith and life are a journey and we can only live one day at a time on that journey…so I encourage you to embrace each day, thank God for the gift of life and seek what you hope for and what you choose to believe…by faith.
Peace and joy to you this day.