It used to make so much sense didn’t it?
The education we acquire, the choices we make—all of the necessary ingredients which when applied and mixed appropriately and baked at the right temperature and for the right amount of time will result in the desired and expected result. The process has been proven over and over again—right? So there is no reason we should expect an outcome any different.
But something has happened. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but things have changed in the world and in your life and you don’t feel as confident as you once did. All the stories of success and achievement fail to inspire as they once did. Your hopes and dreams have dimmed in light of the world around you which just doesn’t have the shine it once did in your eyes.
With all of the economic uncertainty and threats of terrorism, the confidence you once held as you gripped the rail and took those steps up the stairs of success has vanished. No longer are you able to look into the future with any certainty that things will improve or even if they hang on to where they are now. And you begin to realize that those stairs to success are just as capable of leading to failure and collapse with a misplaced step. The strength of the nation and the stability of the world is withering and is no longer able to hide behind the curtain.
Worry begins to take hold in your life as the headlines take their toll, and no amount of pep talk by the politicians is able to push away the clouds of depression.
Stop and sit down for a minute, right there on the stairs.
It is frustrating and a little scary feel so out of control isn’t it?
But certainly you must realize that truly being in control of your life is a mirage—tomorrow you could lose your job or collapse from a stroke and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. There is no certainty of tomorrow, let alone five minutes from now.
Speaking of control, just how much say did you have in your birth?
And death? What about that?
So tell me, what is faith?
Is it faith to believe that United States will pull itself back from the brink of economic meltdown or is it more of an unqualified and shaky hope so because anything else is simply too frightening to consider?
How much faith can you put in the ability of your leaders to steer the Titanic clear of the icebergs, where the greatest threat is unseen, just below the surface?
How much faith can you put in a nation rife with anger and crime?
I guess what really comes done to is this: how much faith can you put in people? It may be natural for you to want to blurt a positive answer to the human condition, but seriously, how much faith can you really put in people? How many times have people let you down. How many times have institutions let you down? How many times have your politicians let you down? How many times have your doctors let you down? How many times have your coworkers, your boss, your friends who say they will come over and help you move let you down?
The stairs you are sitting on are beginning to feel a little less sturdy. Maybe you need to hang on to the handrail, just in case.
Look—faith is not unproven hope in something. You are not going to step out the door of an airplane at 30,000 feet with the faith that you will not fall to your death. The only proven in that scenario is gravity and it will prove itself again.
No faith is not unproven hope—it is not a gut feeling, and it is not reliance on anything unproven or unreliable.
Even these stairs you are sitting on are pretty sturdy and have carried the burden of people for years and years, but it could collapse. Perhaps with some improper maintenance here and some corrosion there you could find yourself on the ground far below. But you don’t think about it. They’re stairs and every experience you have ever had with stairs has proven their reliability. But remember that they were designed, built, maintained and used by human beings. The same human beings that lied to you last week and forgot to give you that discount at the store. The same human beings that cut you off in traffic and provided fraudulent data to gain a research grant.
Whether intentionally or by accident, the reliability in human beings across the board is a gamble. You play the odds, ask your friends for recommendations, get second opinions and keep a watchful eye on the people remodeling your home.
There is no faith in what man offers, only at best an I hope so.
While the faith in what man offers is at best a faith built upon shifting sands, there is a faith—
A true faith—built upon a rock.
A faith which is not built upon thin air or unstable sand, but upon a solid rock.
True faith is not wishful thinking but it is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.
Jesus Christ, the very foundation of my faith and the faith of millions is Faithful and True. When he came the first time more than two thousand years ago, more than 300 prophecies were fulfilled exactly as they had been recorded. And when he comes again (and the King is coming), he will literally fulfill a whole bunch more.
So get yourself off of the unsure and unstable stairs of life and turn to the chief cornerstone of a sure foundation, Jesus Christ. He will save you from your current path—one which traipses through the sludge of miry clay on the way to the pit of destruction, and sets you upon himself, the rock, making your steps secure.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2 ESV