Christmas is around the corner. It’s the time of year when cynics are pressed to enjoy hot cocoa and gingerbread and even non-believers begin to hope for miracles. It’s a time of year when faith pops into conversations.
Faith. People toss the word about, as though faith itself is a good thing. Hard-core LOST fans will recall that a conflict developed between the man of “faith” – John Locke â€” and the man of “science” – Dr. Jack Shepherd during the show’s early seasons. At one point at the end of the second season, Jack famously asked Locke why it was so easy for him to believe, and Locke said, “It’s never been easy!”
No, faith is not easy, and unfortunately for John Locke, his faith was in an ISLAND – an ISLAND with a smoke monster.
“Have faith,” people will say. Faith? Faith in what? Faith in God? Faith in money? Faith in the good nature of the universe? Faith in our own karma? [By the way, in what bank is karma held, and who are the tellers?] We need to make sure we are building our faith on the right foundation.
A skeptic asked us, “But see, there’s a problem when Grandma prays to be healed and she isn’t healed. She thinks she doesn’t have strong enough faith or that God doesn’t love her. What about Grandma?”
We all want to see miracles. We want to pray for Grandma’s crippling arthritis and see her healed; we don’t want her suffering for two more decades. We want to pray for healing and freedom and see them happen.
This is a hard issue. On top of it, the “name it and claim it” “blab it and grab it” “faith” teachers have skewed our understanding, presenting faith as the means to get anything we want. They leave out major components of what the Bible teaches, forgetting that faith has little to do with getting a Mercedes and everything to do with strengthening our relationship with our Savior.