Several months ago, I wrote about faith. You can read that post here. I wrote that during a time in my life when things were uncertain. Despite out circumstances, I knew that things would turn out okay. I had faith. Here we are eight months later, and guess what? I was right. (I usually am, right Nathan?)
This week has been another trying week. There are uncertainties, so it is no surprise that I keep seeing reminders about faith. I have seen quotes on Facebook and Pinterest. Here are a few.
Notice a trend? Yeah, me too. But it gets even better. On Sunday at church, Pastor Matt talked about the Bible. More specifically how do we know the Bible is real. He discussed how the Bible should be read in context, and that each book was meant to be read in one sitting. I am working my way through the New Testament, and I have to admit I would read a chapter or two a night.
Toward the end of last week I had begun reading some of the shorter chapters such as the Thessalonians. In order to really understand the Bible, I decided I would start reading at least one book a day. On Sunday I read 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. On Monday I read Titus. Tuesday I read Philemon. On Wednesday, I was due to read Hebrews. Now, for those of you who do not know, Hebrews is 13 chapters long. This would be a true test for me and my determination to read an entire book each day. Yet, I did it. I started my morning on my front porch reading the Bible on my phone.
As I was reading, I got to chapter 11 and the first verse is “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” There it is, faith. Had I been reading at my usual pace, it would have taken me at least two weeks to read this. I would not have read it this week, when I needed reminded about faith.
I can see the workings of God in my life. I firmly believe that He placed me in that church seat to hear that message about reading the Bible in context so that I could read that verse at a time when I truly needed it.
As I read on through Hebrews 11 I was given count after count of faith being acted out in the Bible. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses’ parents, Moses, and the list goes on. So many examples of faith, in circumstances far greater than my own. If they can have faith in those moments, why should I have anything less?
I used to have the “What if?” mindset. What if I get hurt? What if I lose my job? What if it doesn’t work out? Over time, I noticed that those what if questions were followed up with a but. What if I get hurt, but what if I don’t? What if I lose my job, but I find a better one? What if it doesn’t work out, but what if it does?
Another quote that I read this week was “Fear is what if? Faith is even if.” At the time that I wrote my “Gotta Have Faith” post, my mindset had shifted yet again. It was no longer “What if?” but became “Even if.” Notice the period. There is no question there. “Even if” means that despite anything that may happen, I know that it will be okay.
Even if I get hurt, I will be okay. Even if I lose my job, we will be okay. Even if it doesn’t work out, something else will. “Even if” is true faith. It is understanding that God has a master plan in our lives, and that we just have to trust in Him. This comes from experience.
I can’t say that I always have this mindset. On days when my anxiety is at its absolute worse, I am completely in the “What if” stage. What if I have a panic attack? My prayer is that I am able to move my anxiety to an “even if”.