I’ve frequently thought of faith being this clean, powerful, superhero, handsome, supernatural ideal. Like if faith was a person, it would be stylish, muscular, manicured, well appointed, organized & timely – maybe like Captain America in The Avengers. Indeed, when I read about the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, they all seem powerful, competent, effective & generally great role models, mostly.
In actual truth, when I look at these heroes more deeply as well as my daily attempts to live a faithful & faith-filled life, it often feels messy, murky & muddy. The outcomes of faith are very appealing but the walk & work of faith isn’t quite as pristine & manicured. It seems to me that faith is both a walk & a process. We love the results but sometimes we want to escape the work, uncertainty, mess & process that precede the outcomes.
Just because faith can be messy, murky & muddy doesn’t mean we should quit. Indeed, the process is worth the results 🙂
Recently, I was doing some volunteer work on a house of a flood victim from the horrific flooding that happened last month here in Colorado. My specific assignment was to remove the carpet tack strips in the house that had been ruined from the water that had flooded the house. I’ve never had any carpet tack experience so I just plopped on the floor with the metal wedge tool and tried to pry up the strips that were nailed to the floor. I quickly found out that those little strips were extremely hard to get up & I just settled in my mind that this task was going to take a lot of time and work. After about 30min of work & having only made about 18 inches of progress, an experienced construction guy came along & encouraged me to use a hammer with the metal wedge. I asked if that would make the task easier & go more quickly to which he heartily replied, “YES!!!!” So I grabbed a hammer, watched him for a few seconds, learned the technique & voila!!! I was removing the carpet tack strips much FASTER!! The hammer was a force multiplier!!
In our lives, we need lots of force multipliers to help our work be not only efficient but also highly EFFECTIVE! Based on what the Bible says, wisdom is our force multiplier and through requesting & working with wisdom our lives can be suprenaturally effective. Let’s frequently ask God to give us wisdom J
I always like to hear encouraging stories about how a person has been persistent & the great rewards that they experience from their endurance – some truly great people have become great, in part due to their persistence.
There is, however, an ugly side to persistence & its called stubborness. I’ve heard many stories as well about people being stubborn & the bad things that have happened because of their unwillingness to change. It’s interesting that the words “persistent” & “stubborn” can have similar meanings but evoke different responses in us. So I’ve been thinking about what the difference is for me with these words & here’s my perspective:
When I am stubborn, I assert my will & desires at almost all costs. But when I’m committed to asserting God’s will in my life (conversations, attitudes, actions, etc) over my desires, then perhaps I could consider that I’m being persistent. For me, one word is all about me & the other word is all about Jesus. So I’m praying that the Holy Spirit will dismantle any & all “stubborn” scaffolding in my life & replace those structures with His persistence & endurance to work out God’s will through my daily living. Persistence gets God’s results & stubborness get’s my results :/