Summary: The call to faith this morning is an invitation to trust God when you think everything is falling apart. In the midst of the difficulties you face, the pain you bear, or the darkness you stumble through, trust Father.
Keeping It Together When You’re Falling Apart
Text from The Message: 4Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.
Today’s message represents my final in a series called “Keeping it together when you’re Falling Apart.” It works in tandem with Glenys’ presentation last Sunday on “Measuring your Faith” so that we will consider faith again today.
Author, Philip Yancey in Reaching for the Invisible God quotes George Everett Ross, minister, as speaking of two kinds of faith. “One says if and the other says though. One says: “If everything goes well, if my life is prosperous, if I’m happy, if no one I love dies, if I’m successful, then I will believe in God and say my prayers and go to the church and give what I can afford.” The other says though: though the cause of evil prosper, though I sweat in Gethsemane, though I must drink my cup at Calvary – nevertheless, precisely then, I will trust the Lord who made me. So Job cries, “Though he slay me, yet I will trust Him.”
The call to faith this morning is an invitation to trust God when you think everything is falling apart. In the midst of the difficulties you face, the pain you bear, or the darkness you stumble through, trust Father.
Monica Dickens in Miracles of Courage tells the story of “David, a 3-year old with leukemia, who was taken by his mother, Deborah, to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, to see Dr. John Truman who specializes in treating children with cancer and various blood diseases…When he was three, David had to have a spinal tap--a painful procedure at any age. It was explained to him that, because he was sick, Dr. Truman had to do something to make him better. "If it hurts, remember it’s because he loves you," Deborah said. The procedure was horrendous. It took three nurses to hold David still, while he yelled and sobbed and struggled. When it was almost over, the tiny boy, soaked in sweat and tears, looked up at the doctor and said, "Thank you, Dr. Tooman, for my hurting."
Faith is falsely interpreted when we understand it to mean the problem will disappear, the situation will change, the disease will be healed or the relationship will be restored and when it doesn’t we become disillusioned with God. While we desire these and in many situations it is the reality, there are just as many that God doesn’t seem to fix, heal or restore. What of them? How can we make sense of faith in these? The problem therefore is not God but our understanding of him and of how faith works.
These inconsistencies lead us to explore the realization that there is a God-part to our journey, our experiences, where we simply choose to accept God is God and he knows what he’s doing even when, especially when, everything within me suggests God is not anywhere near my reality. It is the picture of God in the garden called Gethsemane where a rare physiological phenomenon called hematohidrosis resulted in Jesus literally sweating blood. He agonized about the cross so intensely that blood oozed through his pores. Make no mistake about it – God allows us to plead our case, to speak our agony and ask for a change in the circumstances. But be reminded that with the privilege of pleading our desire comes our responsibility to surrender and pray as Jesus prayed, “Not my will but yours be done.”
That is faith. Sometimes we call it TRUST. It allows us to say to him, “God, thank you for my hurting”, believing full well that anything that comes to us will meet the will of God for us in the end.
If we are to keep it together when we’re falling apart we have to make room for something that we cannot theologically explain or scientifically prove – God is in it. I can trust one unchangeable truth that is anchored solid as a rock and that will never change no matter what the outcome will be and it is this truth, this promise from God –“I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU" (Hebrews 13:5, NASB) God is with you and me, personally, intimately, through the presence of the Holy Spirit, or as Jesus affectionately says in John 14:16 (ASV), “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever.”
If there’s anything we need in the church, in our homes and in the workplace of our society, it is people who know the experience of victory, people who know how to bring the world to its knees because of powerful faith, rather than the world bringing us down to its level. It can happen for you! If we will experience “the conquering power that brings the world to its knees”, that being our faith, there are a few things that must happen before we get there and reminders we need if we will stay there.