“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
When I was a little boy, we sang a song in Sunday School that included the words, “have faith, hope, and charity, that’s the way to live successfully.” Even though I did not try to comprehend the full meaning of that text at that early age, it still stuck in my mind and as I grew, I found the words to be true. The quote above of the definition of faith is from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, the first verse.
As I have grown in my spiritual journey, I have found that many times, my faith has been shaken. These are the times that I was not patient or perhaps a prayer was not answered in a way which I felt it should have been answered. I had fallen into the very shameful act of expecting God to be my Santa Claus when I should have been more open to His will for me. I know that I have said in the past that I have trouble with prayer. I am continuing to work through that. And I will admit that it is getting better.
But I find faith to be a hard thing to constantly hold on to. Then just recently, I came across a hymn in The United Methodist Hymnal which I had noticed in the past but never actually read through. I’m not sure why we don’t sing it as it does have a familiar melody. It’s entitled “Faith, While Trees are Still in Blossom.” Basically, it says that we know that fruit will appear on the tree after the blossom because of faith. We know that the sun will rise even before the dawn is breaking. The final lines of the hymn say, “Faith believes that God is faithful…faith accepts the call responding, ‘I am willing, Lord, send me.’” The hymn reminds us that if we have faith, we can trust God to guide and support us down whatever path he leads us. If I have faith, I should respond by actions.
Another hymn which is a favorite of most of us is “Hymn of Promise.” This too is about faith. The most important words of this hymn for me are, “unrevealed until it’s season, something God alone can see.” These words remind me that I must be patient until whatever the outcome is revealed. And moreover, God knows the outcome. We have to remember that God is still at work. He hasn’t thrown us away. We have to have faith.
I look forward to seeing you all on Sunday.