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The Messiness of Faith

February 29, 2016 4 Comments

We try so hard to control our daily life. We make sure everything fits neatly and safely in a box. We set goals and avoid risks to eliminate unexpected surprises. We pray and diligently read God’s Word. Despite all our hard work, life rarely works out neat and tidy.

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Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

We often turn our lives over to Jesus with the expectation that each day will pass quietly. However, if we look at one of the great heroes of faith Paul, his life was rarely neat and clean.  Paul the great apostle and author of a third of the New Testament would be shipwrecked three times, stoned and left for dead, bitten by a venomous snake, deathly ill for over a year, imprisoned and eventually beheaded. (2 Corinthians 11:23-29) Why do we think our life will be any different? Yet despite all Paul went though he seemed have a passion for life. While chained in a dungeon the only thing he asked for was to pray that he might preach with boldness. (Ephesians 6:19-20)

We get ourselves worked up thinking that if we pray enough and with the right words and read our Bible enough all will go well. (Well as we define it). However, life never does. Our life of faith is a messy affair. We still experience death, sickness and disappointment.

As a pastor I find myself a broken man trying to have faith and minister to broken people. A walk of faith is not neat and clean. It is dirty, grimy and messy. As we grow closer to Christ and live out the calling ordained for our lives it may seem to get worse.

The best thing to do is to quit fighting and embrace the mess.

Embrace the mess

  • Quit trying to fix your life – Sometimes we just need to meet the mess of life head on and power through. Trying to make everything perfect only leads to more stress and strain
  • Understand life is for God’s glory not our own.  This is why we were created, for His glory. When we can walk this out we discover a peace and joy that comes from God even as we walk through the mess of life.
  • Quit trying to define success and a happy life as the world does. It is not defined by wealth
  • Quit trying to find the right words that make a magic prayer formula, that magic number of Bible Chapters to read each day, that magic amount of faith. Yes we need to pray and read our Bible but there are no magic formulas. Focus everyday on growing deeper in your relationship with Jesus. There you will find the peace and joy despite the mess.
  • We need to learn what it means to die to ourselves. We are created to give every ounce of our being to Jesus. When we die to ourselves we discover that Jesus has something greater for us.

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. – Luke 9:23

  • Don’t try to go it alone. The Bible shows us God is about building a community of believers. Church is important. Yes it may be broken but only in community are we able to lean on the faith of others when our faith is weak.

A life of faith is messy. Remember faith is a hope in something we can’t see, something we can’t control. Don’t try to fix your life, but pray that God will renew your mind to begin to see the world as he does and see your purpose in spite of the mess.

Pray that your passion for Jesus will continue to grow deeper and out of that you will find His joy and peace no matter what this world throws at you.

How do you live a life of faith through the mess of life? Are you going trough a really heard time right now? Leave a comment or click here to send me an email and I will be glad to pray for you. –  You are not alone.

photo credit: Strong Viking Brother Edition via photopin (license)

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Filed in: All In, Faith, Life

About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 25 years. We currently live in Stockbridge Georgia with two of our children Matt and Victoria. Our oldest Chris has left the nest. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Taffy.