Events in the world have been hard. And, when things get hard, our faith gets tested. So, what does healthy faith look like when it feels like the world is falling apart?
According to Hebrews 11:1 faith is the “the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see” (The Message). No disrespect to the author of Hebrews, but this verse takes a minute to unpack.
This definition of faith brings together two contradictory ideas. First, faith is said to be like a firm foundation. Foundations are solid, often concrete. You can see, feel, and touch a foundation—there’s no question it exists. In fact, every time you walk into a building or enter your home, how often do you think about the foundation under your feet? Rarely, right? You just know it is there. That’s how sure our faith in God can be.
On the other hand, faith is also getting a handle on what you can’t see. Getting a handle on something means to grasp something complicated, puzzling, or uncertain. You try to get a handle on a difficult situation, a challenging personality, or your anger toward someone. When you are trying to get a handle on something, you are often wrestling with it a bit. You aren’t certain of how to proceed, but you know you need to stick with it. Sometimes, that’s also how faith is.
So, the author of Hebrews is telling us two very different things about faith in God:
Faith in God is a firm foundation. It’s a fact. God is there. We can trust him.
Faith is also getting a handle on what we can’t see. It’s elusive. God is mysterious. We have to feel our way through to him.
Both are true: faith is a fact, and faith is a work in progress. Faith is a firm foundation, and faith is feeling our way through. When life is going well and things are working, faith tends to be more like that firm foundation we can *almost* take for granted. We understand that these good gifts come from God. The foundation feels solid.
But, what about when things get hard?
What about when you go through situations where you cannot see a clear path through?
What does it mean to get a handle on faith when it feels like the foundation is crumbling underneath you? For example, what does faith look like when you can’t get a handle on:
an abusive marriage
a challenging set of issues with a child
a break in a friendship
a church community that has hurt you
a job that you hate, but need to keep for financial security
isolation as a result of a global pandemic?
How do you get a handle on faith, when you cannot see the way forward?
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Source: Church Leaders