Last night at Navs, we talked about faith. My story with God has involved a lot of me questioning my faith. I worked with a woman named Sharon at Dollywood last year who talked to me about her faith- she was ridiculously strong and had a life so full of struggles and pain that at times I felt overwhelmed just hearing her stories. I really loved her and shed a few tears over her hardships, and I couldn't believe everything she had gone through, but she had faith. Sharon questioned absolutely nothing about God's plan. She didn't understand why her life had to be so hard but she was ok with that. I was blown away by our conversations on the topic. Sharon was a huge inspiration for me. I wish I could say that have a similar story, blindly trusting God even when life hurts and I don't know why. That's not the case.
I don't know what gets me, probably the fact that part of me feels like God and Jesus are too good to be true, but I often struggle with my faith in the power or even existence of God. I kind of went through a stage in which I quit trying in my relationship with God and therefore my feelings of closeness with Him lessened, my faith in Him weakened, and I ended up losing it completely. The sweet thing about God is that He never loses faith.
"...if we are faithless, He remains faithful- for He cannot deny Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13
If God is unchanging and continually faithful, I can trust that even if my faith is the size of a mustard seed, He will use it to move a mountain.
I have seen God use even tiny bits of faith to change hearts and lives completely. I love that God does not need us to tell the world about His grace, but He uses us to do it anyway, often when we aren't trying at all. It is literally nothing of us, completely from Him, and we are just tools He uses to bring glory to His name. Dennis said something pretty legit last night- "God doesn't save us just so that we will stop sinning or be perfect. He saves us so that we can bring glory to Him."
We've been studying Galatians and I have been shocked to discover how similar I am to the Pharisees and can even relate to them. Paul was a man with faith abounding, literally changing everything about his life because of how much he believed in the power of Christ. I am more of a rule follower. Read the Bible, check. Have a good quiet time, check. Have a spiritual conversation with someone, check.
None of these are things that are going to bring me "more" salvation. Obviously, I know this, but I don't really think I live it.
Faith is what brings us salvation. Faith is what moves mountains. Faith is what changes lives. Nothing that I can do will EVER achieve anything of these things, and THAT is reason to rejoice.
(another reason I am currently rejoicing- I am listening to the Sound of Music soundtrack.)