Faith Faces the Facts
Many claim that any person of faith is using a crutch to help them cope with life. They consider faith to be a product of where you live and how you are raised. The great father of our faith, Abraham, shows us a different story.
Abraham lived in a religious community in Ur. It didn’t seem that Abrahamwas looking to start a new religion when God came to him. His faith in God didn’tbegin because he needed a crutch. His faith seemed to be drawn out by God’spatient work in Abraham’s life and through patience with Abraham’smany lapses of faith.
Abraham was most likely surviving quite well in Ur. Ur was a center for tradein the ancient world. Abraham probably had everything the culture had to offerwhile living right there among friends and family, practicing whatever religionwas popular there. Faith in the One who promised him blessings if he left homeand family wasn’t about creating a crutch. It was not a faith that feltnormal to him because of where he grew up.
Abraham’s faith was tested and shown lacking several times on his journey.By the time he reached 100, however, Abraham showed genuine and righteous creditingfaith when he hoped against all hope (Romans 4:18) and faced the factsthat although his body was as good as dead (Romans 4:19), He wasfully persuaded that God has power to do what he had promised (Romans 4:20).
Over the twenty-five year journey from when he left Ur until he came to truefaith, he discovered an important lesson. He realized something vital about faith.He realized in all his experiences with God that just because God isn’tdoing something doesn’t mean that God can’t do it. The fact thatGod’s promise to Abraham that his offspring from the womb of Sarah wouldoutnumber the sand and the stars had not been fulfilled by the time he was 100did not stop Abraham from faith in the God who made the promise. That is thekind of faith that credits one righteous—faith in God while fully facingthe facts (Romans 4:22).
This is the faith of the whole Bible, and it was most explicitly demonstratedin Jesus. Jesus personally knew God better than any other prophet or chosen leader.He constantly kept His faith in the loving plan of God, His Father. His onlydesire was to do the will of His Father. He faced the facts of faith. In thegarden, He faced the fact that just because God asks doesn’t mean thatHe might have another way. That was Jesus’ prayer of faith in Matthew 26:39:
“Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus knew that anything is possible for His Father. This is faith that knows the facts. Everything that He knew pointed to the fact that He would soon be arrested and crucified, but He faced the facts of the Father He knew and supposed there could be another plan. When God assured Him that there was no other plan, Jesus got up and boldly accepted His task as Redeemer of the world.
The fact is that God can cure you completely of cancer. The fact is that perhaps the treatment isn’t working. Faith faces both facts as facts and doesn’t see the contradiction in either. Faith faces the facts. There is no such thing as blind faith. Faith is bold, powerful, and sure of the fact that God is a God of love and mystery.