To “live by faith,” as both Old and New Testament command, involves an all-encompassing involvement of trusting and submitting unto God (Habakkuk 2:24; Romans 1:17). Everything in our existence falls into the category of “live.” Thus, the born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ discovers life to be an ongoing challenge of faith, and often, crisis of faith.
I recently saw a documentary about rock climbers, those brave or perhaps crazy souls who scale sheer faces of stone and granite with far less equipment than seems adequate to the task. I cannot imagine the challenge the climbers must feel as they begin their ascent to their summit goal, or the exhilaration known when they succeed. My hat’s off to them, and I can only say I am glad it’s them and not me seeking to defy gravity and granite.
This being acknowledged, I nevertheless maintain that consistently trusting God calls the human heart to far greater challenge, and far great possibility of exhilaration as we reach summits beyond our human capacities. Indeed, we also seem to possess far less equipment than the tasks of faith demand. The spiritual gravity of a fallen world, as it were, seems to naturally escort us downward into unbelief and either spiritual pride or despair. Believing the Word of God therefore involves countless challenges to make inward choices of faith that seem to counter everything we feel, think and sense. Add to this the deceptions and distractions of spiritual enemies against whom we wrestle, and the challenge of living by faith becomes by far the sheerest face of rock any human heart can seek to ascend.
Unlike natural rock climbers, believers do not make their ascent alone, or by their own devices. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:13). Interestingly, the Word of God we are to believe is also the Word of God that fosters our capacity to believe. Both the living Word, the Lord Jesus, and the written Word, the Bible, inspire our capacity to trust our Heavenly Father. He works in us to motivate and enable our confidence (Philippians 2:12). This does not guarantee that we will trust Him in every circumstance, of course, and Christians doubtless at times descend into deep pits of unbelief. However, the Holy Spirit continually seeks to shine the spotlight upon God’s abiding faithfulness. But a glance toward the Savior He illuminates can lift the believer from the mire of distrust and spiritual paralysis.
In this day, the challenge lies before us, and above us. May our hearts be filled with courage, the courage of those who know that our ascent unto godliness finds us accompanied by One who perfectly knows the sheer face of rock we must climb. The Lord Jesus scaled it long ago, and He ascends again in and through His trusting children. A life of the greatest adventure possible awaits those who recognize the challenge, but even more, who rejoice in the filled and thrilled hearts of those who consistently reach summits where the vista of God’s faithfulness shines forth in beauty and wonder.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”