Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Keep On Keeping On

Today you will find me as the blogger on Kingdom Bloggers. Our theme this week on KB is doubt. It has sort of amused me that this would be the theme since I just wrote Confessions of a Former Optimist.

On KB I wrote about Thomas and his doubts. I wrote about the disciples hiding behind locked doors because of fear. You really should check it out - you can do so here:

Sometimes you just need to be shown. Sometimes you just want to know what is real and what isn't?

I ran out of steam or space, not sure which, before I finished my thoughts on doubt. I wanted to talk about the opposite of doubt. Many would say it is faith. I have a hard time with the concept of faith. I just don't really understand it.

At times my view of faith has been distorted through the lens of my own works. If I confess it enough, I'll have it. Now, I think there is something about being careful what you say - I also think you can go way overboard with that concept. 

I was talking about forgiveness yesterday with a wise friend. She said, Joyce, sometimes you've been too quick to forgive. Incredulous I asked her what she meant. She said you can't forgive what you can't name. If you forgive something just because you "should" without naming it, you don't know what you are forgiving.

Wow - talk about something to mentally chew on for a year or two.

It's the same with faith. First we have to figure out what we actually believe. Then we need to figure out why we believe it. It's easy to say it's in the book therefore I believe it. That is sort of like when Peter made his declarations of faith in Mark 14:
29 Peter blurted out, "Even if everyone else is ashamed of you when things fall to pieces, I won't be." 30 Jesus said, "Don't be so sure. Today, this very night in fact, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times." 31 He blustered in protest, "Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you." All the others said the same thing. 
Peter had a lot of faith that day. He made all the right statements. We also know with in a few verses we read that true to Jesus' words, Peter denied every knowing or following Jesus.

When it comes to doubt, I don't think doubt is really the problem. Nor do I think it is faith. I think the issue is endurance. I'd like to be rid of all my doubts and be a woman of great faith but I will only be that if I endure. 

After the faith chapter comes this verse. I think it is the answer to our problems with doubt.
Hebrews 12:1 Do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running - and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins.

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