My parents on their 60th wedding anniversary last January.
This is really sad but true. The word “faith” has a negative connotation in our culture today. On the network or cable channels, people of faith are portrayed as a guy in lime green pants with an orange plaid flannel shirt with a navy blue down vest. The guy, who is to represent all people with faith, usually has a deep southern accent, and he is picketing an abortion clinic, threatening to kill the doctors.
Or… someone else of “faith” maybe the a radical Muslim like Osama bin Laden.
Neither are true pictures of people with true faith… they are the media elite’s spin on people who believe in God. And this is not the kind of belief that makes my world go around everyday. The type that is poignantly displayed in the archives of Jewish history, the Bible, that book which has become the morale code and foundation of Western society.
Abraham, the father of Judaism, “staggered not at the promises of God.” I love that! It is so descriptive.
Steel entered into the soul of Joseph when he was abandoned by his brothers, sold as a slave in a strange land, and left in the prison and pit to die.
David repented of adultery and murder and became a “man after God’s own heart.”
A lame beggar stopped Peter on the streets of Jerusalem and asked for money. Peter replied, “I don’t have silver or gold, but I will give you what I have: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” The man stood up and went away walking and leaping and praising God.”
These same kind of faith-adventure stories spill over into our century: Jesus appeared by divine revelation to an Ethiopian Jewish rabbi in the night and said, “I am Jesus. Read my Word.” The next day the rabbi found all the Jewish New Testaments he could and gave them away to his Jewish friends, saying, “Jesus is the Messiah. Read about Him in God’s Word.” His life totally changed, and he devotedly serving the One whom he once disdained.
We see in these instances that faith has something to do with God, Jesus, His Word, believing His Word, healing, and pressing on through difficult times.
Hebrews 11:1 gives this definition: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is like the wind, which can not be seen but felt. Humankind uses faith everyday–riding an elevator to the 40th floor of a building… in hopes that the lift will make it to the top and back down again. Faith in the food we eat… that it will provide nutrient and vitamins necessary for good health. Faith in our cars to take ust to our destinations… the list goes on.
It is natural to use faith in everyday life. But somehow it has been labeled to use faith in God as extreme and fanatical.
Our family with my parents….
My father just went through open-heart surgery at age 81! When he and mother received the news that daddy had five occluded heart passages, neither of them became fearful or deeply shaken. In fact, faith rose up in their hearts to meet the challenge. Peace reigned as my father passed through the surgery. The doctors were amazed at how they both bore up under the sudden event and stress of the “bad news.” They breezed through the ordeal.
Dad is home now recovering very well–in less than a week.
I credit their lifestyle of faith… learning to pray about all things… learning that God keeps His Word… learning that God’s timing is always perfect. Here my parents are in their 80s, and they are gleaning a lifetime of faith. That is making their last years some of their sweetest.
No my dad is not the media-hyped man with the lime green pants and orange plaid flannel shirt with the deep southern drawl… ready to bomb an abortion clinic. He is a picture of an post- modern man, who placed his life, family, and future into the hands of a living God… a post-modern man of faith that believes every Word of the Bible is true… that God will keep His promises and make an eternal difference in his life now and in another world.
The lesson to be learned here is the media elite is not a good reflection of the good people of faith across this land, that still believe this is a nation founded on godly, scriptural principles and that deeply desire that we will continue to be that in the future.