For when we brought you the Good News, it was not only with words but also with power, for the Holy Spirit gave you full assurance that what we said was true. And you know of our concern for you from the way we lived when we were with you.
1 Thessalonians 1:5 NLT
Today we return to yesterday’s verse where Paul declares that he has lived in a manner that expressed the Christian way to those around him. In the past, I’ve been quite self-critical as I tried to determine how my way of life reflected the gospel.
My thoughts began to change once I acknowledged that most of my aspirations, which informed my decisions, grew from a desire for self-security and in part as a desire to “fit in” with the apparent norms of society. The critical battle then began and focused upon the reality of my deep-seated insecurities. These were less about how I was perceived by others, that frankly has never really disturbed me, but about my deep-seated insecurity surrounding my faith. Brave and forthright in word, I literally was unsure if God might indeed supply my every need. Was I really able to accept that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:38, NKJV) within God’s purpose for me? Did God indeed have a purpose for my life, that seemed by my mid-30s to make little sense in the overall scheme of life?
I still wrestle with my insecurity around faith. I acknowledge that faith is unseen and insupportable from reason alone. It demands a trust in the invisible and intangible. Yet, I prefer to place my trust in solid realities. So the challenge was and is clear – can I take God at God’s word? Although so much better than I was, I still struggle to entrust my total welfare to God’s ability.
Whatever struggles you face, they will challenge the character and nature of your faith. Faith is a struggle; it is much more than a faith declaration that trips so easily from the lips. It is the stout-hearted faith that remains immovable through and despite circumstances of life.
What struggles are you facing today?
Heavenly Father, help me to press deeper into your faithful love for me. I entrust all of me into your care.
Photo – Lady Chapel, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin