I’ve been reading this book by Tullian Tchividjian called Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. It’s so good, I would definitely recommend it! But one day while I was reading a chapter, agreeing whole heartedly every word the author wrote, a question randomly popped up in my head. “Ok, but why do you believe that? What makes you so sure?” I was kind of taken aback by this question that seemed to come out of no where, but it’s been really convicting me lately. Tugging hard at my heart.
From birth, I grew up in the church learning about God & Christianity. I was fed an all that I could eat buffet of Christianity & I partook of it every chance I got. But coming into my own faith, starting in college, I’ve begun to realize how unstable my faith truly has been; but I never asked why. I just allowed myself to be continuously spoon fed, eating & eating, without even truly understanding what it as I was feasting on. Am I making sense right now? I’ll be honest with you, I’m not quite sure if any of this post will make a lick of sense, but today I just want to talk some things through. Where am I going with all of this, I don’t know, maybe we’ll both figure it out by the end of my ramblings. But I do want to say up front, by no means am I saying that questioning my faith means I’m wondering if it’s even worth it! I’m completely 100% sold out for God & you can take that to the bank!
Growing up in the church, I was taught just about every story in the Bible. Over and over and over again. I think this repetition of the same old, same old made my mind numb to the mind blowing truths of the Gospel. I honestly remember a time when I was a teenager thinking, “Well I’ve learned all I can about God. I guess I’ve made it! I’m done!” I believed everything that was being fed to me. I didn’t feel the need to ask questions, challenge others on what they believed, or dig deeper. The pastor (in my case, Daddy) said it & I believed it. No if, ands, or buts about it. I’ve never been the kind of person to ask lots of questions or question authority. So, yeah, I’m sure any teenager would be convinced that he/she reached their final understanding of God, especially growing up in the church. Luckily, until I threw myself in the fire, I lived a pretty sheltered life.
Being a human means that life is going to throw some pretty big rocks at your windows. When my world got shaken, even in the littlest bit, I found it so easy to forget my faith, throw caution to the wind & figure things out on my own. I started questioning things I had never questioned before & I didn’t know how to exactly answer. To be honest, I didn’t want to answer them. I just wanted to keep all of my answers in a perfectly wrapped box. Easy answers = easy faith, easy life. Or so I had convinced myself. But in reality, a perfectly wrapped box will only get you so far before life starts unwrapping those layers, testing your very existence. So many times in my life, I went back and forth in my views of God. One week I wouldn’t believe in Him & the next week I’d have a glimmer of hope that He existed. That’s because though I was raised in the church & thought I knew all that I could know. My faith & my relationship with God had not been built on a firm foundation. My foundation was pretty much built on fluffy stuff!
A Foundation Supported By Questions
Our salvation is based on our faith in Jesus Christ & what He did on the cross. Yes! But in my recent thoughts, I also believe that our foundation has also got to be built on a strong faith that can weather the tough questions. (If that makes sense!) Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:11-15:
“For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.” (NLT)
When we accept Jesus into our lives, believing in Him wholeheartedly, we are so graciously saved & set for life. No judgement, condemnation, or wrath of God will ever touch us because we believe in what He did on the cross. We’re good as gold! That’s the only true foundation our faith can be built on. But it’s what we build on that faith that will truly weather us through life’s storms. In my personal faith journey, I think a part of that building has to be asking bold questions as to why I believe what I believe. Finding the courage to search & earnestly seek after the answers.
“Why do I believe that God’s Word is true?”
“Do I truly believe that God’s will for me is good? Why?”
“What makes me so sure that God truly & deeply loves me?”
“Why do I believe that I am saved?”
This may sound like simple questions any Christian could answer with a rehearsed line from Sunday school, but that’s not what I’m seeking after. I’m seeking answers I can boldly & confidently answers because I know for a fact & there is nothing
—no storm, mountain, valley, or pit —that can shake my faith into thinking otherwise.
Yes, you can be spoon fed these answers all day, but I’ve got to say, in coming into your own faith, you’ve got to seek out these answers for yourself. Diving into God’s Word, the ultimate answer book, and knowing exactly where to find them. Seeing for yourself that this is what God said and this is why you believe it. These answers can also be found in the undoubtable evidence of God’s hand in your life. I know I’ve got some stories that can be explained no other way but with God.
We’re Not Going to Have All the Answers
I just want to throw that out there too! The beauty of it all is that we are not going to have all the answers, but I do believe that we have all we need know right now in God’s Word. It’s not about having all the answers, but knowing where we stand when life starts to hit us hard. I believe that our faith will only remain at a surface level until we begin to start questioning our faith.
Y’all, I hope this made some sort of sense to you. Like I said, all these thoughts and questions have just been swirling through my mind lately, tugging on my heart. Hopefully someone out there can relate or kind of understand what I’m trying to say. I guess bottom line is: We’ve got to remain in His Word & know it for ourselves. Yep, 1,096 words later….I think that’s exactly what I’m trying to say.