“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV)
I’m so excited to receive positive feedback about In the Shadow of the King—thank you readers! I think one reason the main character Hannah and her story resonate with people is because she is so utterly human in asking, “Is Yeshua who he says he is?” Looking back from the vantage point of 2,000 years of history and with the added Spirit-inspired commentaries of New Testament eyewitnesses, it’s easy to critique the religious leaders of Yeshua’s day. But are we any more faith-filled today? If we’re honest, who of us has not questioned our Creator? Most of us wouldn’t express blatant unbelief out loud. But terrible accidents, illnesses, mistreatment, and loss can lead us to question in our hearts, “Lord, are you really who you say you are?”
Our society has adopted a ‘seeing is believing’ attitude, and too often this distrustful posture has carried over into our relationship with our Father. We rely on our collective experiences to determine our level of expectation about His willingness (if not His ability) to intercede on our behalf. Share bad news with a friend and sadly, their first response is to recount an even more tragic outcome that happened to someone else they knew who endured a similar situation. Or they dismiss our pain as ‘part of God’s plan.’ Hardly the words of encouragement we need.
So what’s a rational, intelligent 21st century believer to do when faced with the hard realities of life? Stop being rational and intelligent, of course! Faith is contrary to the logical mind. As believers, we live by faith, not sight, right? Or, put another way, we don’t live without faith. If we only go by what our natural senses and intellect comprehend, we’re doomed. If we let our feelings dictate our confidence in God’s goodness, we’re lost. The writer of Hebrews even admonishes, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb 11:6, NIV). In short, faith matters.
While it sounds simple—just believe—the process of changing thought patterns involves diligently seeking God, facing trials, persevering, and, my personal nemesis, wrangling that blasted flesh. Ugh! Lately, my heart’s cry to the Holy Spirit is simply “Help! Help my unbelief!” I want to trust God the way He deserves to be trusted, and I know I’m not there yet. And the answer He impresses on me is always the same. Trust my word.
Thanks be to God! He has given us His word and His Spirit to guide us. He already confirmed the importance of the relationship between faith and the word to us in Romans 10:17 when He said faith comes by hearing the word. When we meditate on His promises and keep our eyes fixed on the author and finisher of our faith, He renews our minds. As we share testimonies of the Lord’s provision and supernatural intervention in our lives, our trust grows and we pray big, beautiful, bold prayers that please our King. He told us nothing is impossible for those who believe. Wow! That’s an amazing statement! I want to be counted among those ‘those,’ don’t you?
To answer the original question of “God, are you really who you say you are?” with a faithful and resounding yes, we’ll need to know who He says He is—not who religion says He is, not who TV personalities say He is, not even who we say He is. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure in the next few blog posts as we look at the topic “Who is I AM?” Until then, may the Lord bless and keep you.