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Everyone has doubts but not everyone has faith. Christians should keep faith active at all times because it overcomes everything that blocks God’s spiritual blessings. Nothing matters more than maintaining belief in God. It’s what keeps us in right relationship with God.
What is Faith?
Faith acknowledges that God exists. It’s seeing with spiritual eyes and believing what is seen. It’s essential to the Christian. Both becoming a Christian and living as a Christian require faith. Having faith is like having a sixth sense.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Faith brings us the security that the words in the Bible, God’s promises, are true. Even though faith is indispensable, it’s often easier to express doubt instead. Faith can see that God is good, but doubt sees only that God is flawed or worse, that He doesn’t exist at all.
But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.Romans 14:23 ESV
The primary act of faith is believing that Jesus has eliminated the threat of sin. Trusting God puts you in right relationship with Him.
When something terrible happens, faith allows a person to maintain the understanding that God is completely good. That’s all that God really wants from us: actively seeing and believing in God’s goodness. Trusting God will all your heart can only have a positive outcome (Proverbs 3:5-7).
Faith Helps Find the Right Path
We are born into this life away from God’s ideal path. And, there is no pain-free path that leads to this ideal path. Being a Christian involves submitting to God and allowing Him to guide us to His path. But just as it’s difficult to cut through an overgrown jungle, it’s equally difficult to endure God’s restorative process (sanctification).
Usually, God doesn’t instantly transport people from their lost position (like in the jungle) straight to His perfect path. Instead, He tells us to take up our cross.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?Matthew 16:24-26 ESV
Leaving behind the pleasure and satisfaction of sin is necessary to find the path of real life. Choosing the right path is counter-intuitive because walking it is so difficult. Why is the most difficult direction the correct one? God made the right path to be costly. Only a sincere heart can walk it.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”Matthew 13:45-46 ESV
If you’ve ever tried to change a bad habit, you understand the effort involved. Losing weight requires eating less or exercising more. Enduring hunger isn’t fun. And neither is additional strenuous exercise.
An uninspired person will conclude that the journey back to health is too much work. But a person of faith can see the destination and so knows that the journey is worth it.
If the journey back to health was the path of least resistance, everyone would be healthy. It’s much easier to maintain a messy house than a well-organized one.
Putting life back into order requires effort; some people are unwilling to put in the intense effort. But true believers are willing to do whatever it takes to find the right path.
Matt Pavlik is a licensed professional clinical counselor who wants to see each individual restored to their true identity. He has more than 20 years of experience counseling individuals and couples at his Christian counseling practice, New Reflections Counseling. Matt and Georgette have been married since 1999 and live with their four children in Centerville, Ohio.