Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Shield of faith

The Shield of faith

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1, NIV

A friend of mine wrote recently about the terrible difficulty he went through when his wife died. They were a wonderful Christian couple who had been happily married for 60 years.

The day eventually came when death parted them - a terrible blow for the husband. At the funeral, as he watched her coffin being lowered into the ground, a thought came into his mind: That's the last you'll ever see of her. In other words, don't expect to see her in heaven, because you're deceiving yourself to believe in God or eternal life.

In that vulnerable moment he believed the voice and swallowed the lie. He did not feel God was there. In fact he felt that his life-long Christian faith was nonsense and had been for nothing.

From that time onwards, he looked on the outside like a normal believer, but inside he had lost all belief in God. Nevertheless, for some reason he continued his habit of attending church and Bible study group, although he didn't know why he did so.

After about a year, one day he was in a Christian meeting when the speaker read these words from the Bible: Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). The words came like a revelation. He realised it was not all about his feelings - whether he felt God was there or not - but it was about faith. Faith is trusting in what you can't feel and can't see. It does not require feelings.

My friend was thrilled to be linked back with God again, and gradually he found much comfort and peace from the Lord in the months that followed. Ephesians 6:16 says faith is a shield, which will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. My friend had been attacked by the evil one at his wife's funeral. It was simple faith which helped him to extinguish that attack. He just trusted in God, whether he had feelings of belief or not.

Our feelings are emotions. They swing around and can be hurt, fearful or even go numb, when we feel nothing. It is quite common for a bereaved person to experience numb feelings, because the emotions shut down to reduce the pain of loss. When the feelings shut down, we feel nothing.

Faith is not an emotion or feeling. It is a trust and doesn't rely on what our feelings are doing. Feelings give us lots of problems, so the shield of faith, ‘I will trust God with this,' truly is a shield for us. Are you relying on your feelings?

Prayer: Father, thank You that Your love is there for me, even if I can't feel anything right now. I give this into Your hands and I will just trust You. You are there whether I feel it or not. I trust in You even in the darkness. Please help me and also all those I know who have been bereaved. Deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory. Amen.

Today's Writer : Grace Marshall
Grace Marshall is a Doctor in General Practice near Southampton. In her spare time she is a member of the Ellel Ministries associate ministry team and teacher. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.

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