James A. Washington

Faith usually is a minefield to navigate. If you’re not careful, your faith will wilt from the constant barrage of just living. Be it grief, worry, betrayal or just hard times, life has a way of making you think it’s just too hard. Some things are just not worth it. The answer is simply, just quit – give up. You want to quit your job. End that relationship. Stop going where just being there is too painful. The memories are too overwhelming.

But in the question of faith, we must never misunderstand the role that work in the name of the Lord plays in solving that which ails you.

How often have you been able to get yourself out of the doldrums because you just helped someone else? How often have you really looked around and realized how blessed you are because God shows you it could be so much worse?

When does it kick in that now, at that moment of chaos in your life, that this is the test? This is the temptation that is offering itself up to you to challenge your faith? There are no road maps that indicate “faith red light” up ahead. By the time I recognize faith’s red light, it’s usually after I’ve run right through it.

We can all take solace in the fact that we know we could have demonstrated our faith in a situation that happened yesterday, a week ago or even years ago. But that doesn’t change that fact that we failed. At the end of the day I’ve run faith sign after faith sign.

But our God is a merciful God of another chance and, yes, even another one after that. Your faith will always give you another crack at it because you’re still alive and the opportunities to demonstrate one’s faith are multiplied exponentially on a daily basis. If you missed it this morning, don’t worry, you’ll get another shot at it this afternoon.

“So watch yourself. If your brother sins, rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.  The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’”

You know how hard that is? Increase your faith by forgiving those who repeatedly come against you?

So the dutiful response to the constant onslaught of life is to acknowledge where and who your faith is predicated upon. We walk by faith and not by sight. The deed is the thing. The intent is to act on your faith. Forgive and serve. Rest in the peace that the Word promises. Remember it’s not the faith signs you see and run through. It’s the ones you see clearly that will make the difference. The more you see, the more you stop. The more you stop, the more you recognize that faith is the essential ingredient to make this journey. It is not what comes at you. It’s how you respond to it. Faith gives you the peace of mind to do so.

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