Faith Journey Part 2: The Father Who Knows
I am currently rereading the Gospel of Matthew. I worked through John and The Book of Acts and felt something compelling calling me back to this gospel.
It's a fresh word.
You know those times when you read the Bible and it seems like a whole bunch of words that do nothing for you? I do. Don't lie. You know you've had those times too. On the flip side,
you know those times when you read the Bible and the words come to life? This is one of those seasons where I do. I remember the last time I went through a season where I had this much connection with reading the Bible. It was 2011 and I was attending one of the best churches I've ever been to.
When reading the Bible gets like this, it's as if you can see the people and the characters speaking passionately about the issues of their hearts, pleading for their audience to live a fuller, more meaningful life. The imagery of Jesus singlehandedly changing the course of the lives of two brothers with two words: follow me. This is when the Bible is a fresh word catered specifically to your situation. I don't treat these times lightly.
In this era of gaining followers and building bank accounts and relationships coming and going, these are the times that mean the most. This is the time to connect with a story that transcends your own. His story.
Right now I'm working through Matthew chapter 6. I've been stuck on these chapters for the last couple of days during my morning reads. There are parts of this book that I have no idea what Jesus was saying. And then there are parts of the speech of Jesus that wreck me to my core. The Sermon on the Mount was such a beautiful passage. What would it have been like to live in that time and have Jesus say those things directly to you?
The Jewish people were in dire straits. Poverty was rampant, corruption was common and oppression was suffocating. The religious leaders of the day hung heavy requirements for righteousness that were burden impossible to achieve. In addition to that, finding food for yourself and your loved ones was a fight. The situation was basically hopeless. But there was a Savior.
BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT, FOR THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
Could you imagine what it felt like to hear that? There was hope. Even if you aren't religious, I think you could understand how much good news can do for the soul. I think there was something about the way Jesus told his listeners, 'I can believe Him. I can have hope again.'
Towards the end of Sermon on the Mount Jesus spoke more assuring words. We all have heard of the infamous scripture 'seek ye first the kingdom of heaven,' but I want to focus on the passages leading up to those statements. Hopefully, this brings peace to you as it did to me:
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
Anxiety is rampant in all of our lives. There is so much to be uncertain about. There are so many situations in which we have no idea how they unfold or what we will do about them. In our anxiety, as Jesus alluded to, we basically ask what do we do?
What do we do when we have conflicts that arise in life? What do we do when there's not enough money? What do we do when we can't pay for the medical bills? What do we do?
The phrase that stood out in that passage was this:
YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER KNOWS
How comforting is that? There is a God who knows exactly what we're going through and the struggles that we face where all hope seems lost. He knows and He cares. He understands the struggle and the pain and the confusion and you're not alone even if you feel like you are.
Trusting in these truths can get you through some of the most difficult things in life as it has done many many people throughout history. This is Faith. This is amazing grace. He knows and he'll get you through it.
Life is hard. If it's easy for you, you must not have lived too long. The purpose of this article was just to share a passage that has comforted me in the hope that it can help you too. My exhortation is to read through that passage and just think about it for a little bit. Ask yourself what it means. Make it personal to you. You're not alone.
There's a God who knows exactly what you're going through and He'll get you through it.
*The preceding article was written by a guy who is still in the process. I've seen enough to know that God is real but suppose I haven't seen enough to have it all figured out. I appreciate your grace and understanding. God bless y'all*