I’m going to put myself out there on the vulnerability limb for a minute and share with you a deep fear that has been consuming me lately, so much that I have even lost quite a bit of sleep over it. Maybe someone reading this has, is, or will go through the same and maybe, just maybe, this can help ease those hearts and minds.
I have some close friends and friends of friends that have been diagnosed with life threatening diseases in the recent past and another that is currently on their way out of this life and on their way to the next…if there is a next. I have also lost a couple of people very dear to my heart to cancer as well. I don’t have to tell you how ugly it looks and what kind of impact that incredibly horrid disease has on those it affects.
Let me take a step back – maybe I should have led with the fact that even though I am a believer and Christ follower, I am in a place now, due to this deep mortality check, where I am questioning my faith and if there really is something after this life. Is my faith my own or is my faith based solely on the fact that my parents raised me to believe. Is my faith culture based? Who is to say my religion is right and those who believe in other religions are wrong? Culturally speaking, as a Christian culture, no one can tell us we are wrong. Those that are raised in a Buddhist, Hindu, or Judaism based culture can’t be told they’re wrong either. Their beliefs and convictions are just as strong as ours are. So who’s right? Who’s wrong? And who are we to say one way or the other? Think about it, these belief systems have been dug in for several millennium and possibly more. I mean, who knows exactly!
Taking a gander back on my life, I was once 20 years old and didn’t have a care in the world. Other than how I’d pay my utility bill after I spent too much money partying the weekend before. Now I’m 44 years old. I think?!?! My eyesight is failing and I have to wear prescription reading glasses. My hair is now full blown grey on the sides and I have a receding hairline. I have to take 20 pills a day to keep my hereditary high cholesterol at manageable levels. I have to exercise 6 days a week so I can button my pants without sucking in too much.
I know comparatively these are minimal issues to what some are dealing with. And it is when I combine what others my age are dealing with along with what I am facing, that it really brings the fragility of life to the front of my mind. It is scary how quickly things can change from one minute to the next and I’m no different than anyone else when it comes to wanting to live a long and fruitful life. I also want to know that when my life expires that there is a life after this life and that I am secure in my inheritance of what I hope for.
Allow me to be clear of what I hope for…
I hope Romans 10:9-13’s promise holds true because I stand on it like that promise was and is made to me personally. My hope is that when I graduate from this life to the next that I hear “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
I was just speaking to a friend at work about these things. We’ll call him Mr. Brooks. Mr. Brooks suggested I speak with the authority Christ Jesus has given me. “Get behind me, Satan!” After talking with him, he told me two things that really spoke to my spirit.
First: “Being in the place you are now, questioning your faith, that’s a good place to be. You see, your faith in other areas where it is stronger, didn’t become stronger without first being tested. You don’t build calluses without repeated friction and pressure and that’s exactly what’s happening here. You’ve put your faith to the test and God is applying the friction and pressure needed to build it and make it stronger.”
Second: “You wouldn’t be concerned about your faith or your salvation if you didn’t have it. God doesn’t speak fear and death into your life. He’s not going to have you lying awake at night in fear of death. He’s not going to steal your peace or your joy. Satan, on the other hand, knows he can’t have you now that you belong to God and are an heir to the Kingdom but he can steal your light and he’ll do that to keep you from shining that light into others’ lives. Satan will do all he can to keep you focused on yourself and your fears so to keep you from living in the moment with all the joy and peace promised to you by your Father in heaven. That’ll keep you down and from speaking into others’ lives through the gifts of the Spirit and that, my friend, is a win for the enemy.”
Thanks, Mr. Brooks! This gives me fuel to stay in the moment and continue digging deeper in my relationship with God to find the answers I seek. Or at the very least, find the joy, peace, and comfort I’ve allowed to be squashed by the enemy through his whispers of fear. It’s time to relight my joy and share it with others in hopes that Romans 10:9-13 becomes a promise they stand on as well.
For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9-13 – NLT