Summary: Change in the church
When Change Challenges your Character, Job 42:1-6, # 3 of the “pardon our dust series
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
August 11, 2002
A boy riding a bus home from Sunday school was very proud of the card he had
received, which had a picture and a caption that read: “Have Faith in God.” The card slipped from his hand and fluttered out the window. “Stop the bus!” he cried. “I’ve lost my ‘faith in God!’”
The driver pulled the bus to a stop, and as the boy climbed out and went to retrieve his
card, one of the adult riders made this statement “All of us would be better off if we were that concerned about our faith."
My favorite story is about the Catholic nuns who ran out of Gas and decided to walk to the gas station but the only thing they could find to put the gas in was a bedpan. As they were pouring the gas from the pan into the tank of the car someone drove by and said “sisters you sure have more faith than I have”
This church is full of people of faith. People who have made sacrifices and have placed their faith in the promises of God. I have no doubt that you could testify to the struggles that you have had with your faith.
Some of your struggles may have been the result of loss. Perhaps you have lost someone close to you, a close friend, a parent, a spouse, a child. And the way that life was ebbed out caused you to question your existence, your beliefs and your faith in God.
Others struggle with Horrible events that happen because of evil, and you are left asking the question of why. And even people with Rock solid faith find it questionably unstable when something does not go right.
What happens after a tragedy? Well for a lot of people their faith in God is renewed. But for those who have a faith in God there is a sense of reevaluating our beliefs. You may have experienced things in this life that no person should have ever experiences. I think we all have.
In my life I have noticed a number of faith hurdles. From having a brother that passed away when I was young, to a parental divorce, to being beaten and abused by a step father. Some people say well you were too young to remember most of those things so you never knew the difference. Let me tell you I knew the difference. And I saw the effects of these horrible things weigh their effects on my family.
You see that’s just my story, the story was different for my mother. It was different for my sister. Because the story is different for everybody.
Maybe your story contains things that you would never want to talk about and really don’t want anyone to know about. But because they are part of your experience they have become part of your faith.
Have you ever spoken with people who have no faith at all? Most of the time it has nothing to do with an intellectual belief but rather it is based on an experience, A time when God should have been there. But because the people were so evil we could not feel His presence.
Perhaps your story has to do with abuse and to this day you struggle, hiding your shame or guilt.
Or maybe your story is different, it could be a sickness. And the person that you once viewed as healthy and strong has become weak and feeble.
The questions are all consuming and eat away at our belief in faith if they continue to go unanswered.
We are in our final week of a series called “pardon our dust” and we have been talking about changes in society, changes as a church and ultimately changes in us.
Last week we talked about how no cost is too high to bring people to Jesus, that we need to pay whatever price no matter how costly ,how messy or how inconvenient.
The truth is for those in this room today all of these ordeals have brought about some kind of change. And they have always been messy, costly and inconvenient.
And even though you can’t see the good in what has happened because it was such a horrible thing. Here is what the bible says. That what the world meant for evil, God meant for good. So wait a minute. Some evil men drove planes into innocent people, that’s evil! But God can bring some good out of it! Some evil people kidnap teenage girls and, That’s evil. But God can bring some good out of it. Some evil people walk into a place of worship with bombs taped to their chest, But God can make some good out of it.