Finding Faith: Forging your faith
Confession: I am a closet fan of the television show, “Forged in Fire.” The process of taking a piece of old metal and forming it into a new and usable tool is fascinating to me.
Through the process of heating and beating on these materials, the old material is formed into a shape resembling a knife to achieve the desired parameters for the competition. Once the weapon is heated and quenched, the hardening process is complete and all that’s left is some simple cosmetic work to give it a polished look.
Simply put, a new knife is formed from old material that was put through extreme situations to mold it into the beautiful and practical implement you see.
What about you? Has God done similar with your life? What are some ways that God has forged you into the person you are today? I ask because I continually run into Christians that come across as offended by anyone who would question their faith. And to be honest, I don’t fully understand why.
Critical thinking is such an important tool in our lives and it seems to be becoming somewhat of a lost and forgotten concept in our society. Questions are frowned upon while blind obedience and allegiance is hailed. It begs the question: Why? Why aren’t we asking questions to expand our knowledge — especially when it comes to our faith?
If faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, then we should have questions about it!
Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council — a Pharisee and a highly respected man of religion and influence. Let’s be honest, Jesus was ruthless in his critical assessment of the Pharisees during his time on earth (see Matthew, chapter 23). However, in Nicodemus, Jesus had found a man of this religious persuasion who was open to discovering the truth about him.
In John, chapter 3, we find a dialogue between the two that took place in the middle of the night while the crowds were gone and they could talk on a more personal level. And what we are privy to in their discussion is fascinating — the Pharisee, the intelligent and pious leader who is studied in the scriptures is asking questions of the carpenter’s son. And Jesus addressed the questions. He did not scorn the man of faith for his lack of belief, but instead helped him understand the truth of God’s promises. Jesus allowed Nicodemus to think critically and therefore to find the truth of who Jesus Christ truly is — the Son of God.
Are you willing to ask questions of Jesus? Are you willing to not settle for the status quo when it comes to answers in your faith? Are you willing to seek God so that you can be confident of Him and not just give Him lip service?
Hebrews 11:6 states that anyone who comes to him (God) must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. The prophet Jeremiah writes that you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Now is not the time for a lukewarm and tepid faith achieved by obedience to what we perceive to be a list of rules for entrance at the pearly gates on the doorstep to eternity. Now is the time for a faith forged in the fires of earnestly seeking after God and delving into the mysteries of who he is. It may require some hard, difficult and uncomfortable refining. It is also a process that will not be enjoyable during the heating and beating. However, it is a process that will leave you strengthened for the trials and stresses of this life while demonstrating to all, the beauty of your Creator.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Rev. Scott Garman, pastor of Cedar Heights Brethren in Christ Church in Mill Hall.