Recently I overheard a conversation in a snack bar. Two people were discussing Christianity (a rare enough event these days!) and one confessed that she no longer went to church. She said she had ‘lost her faith’ because the people in church were all hypocrites and didn’t live up to what they claimed to be.
I was wondering if I ought to join in the conversation. But then the other person said “Well, I’m a Christian”, and started to speak out some simple truths about faith. I judged that I could safely leave them to it and prayed silently for God to work through the Christian witness being proclaimed.
This started me thinking how people could ‘lose their faith’ if it was a true faith to start with. If you have really known the presence of God in your life, with faith in Jesus through the Holy Spirit, surely nothing can take this away!
I think the problem is that we can put our faith in the wrong place. We say we have faith in God, but we are actually putting our faith in a certain church, a certain teaching, a certain leader, a certain preacher, a certain style of worship. All of this is faith in man and not in God. Faith in man will inevitably lead to disappointment or worse, and it’s not surprising that people lose this kind of faith.
So, if you are struggling with your faith, trying to push down the feeling that it may be slipping away because of the disappointment that it’s bringing, ask yourself this question, “Am I actually trusting in man rather than in God?” Because if our mind is ‘stayed on God’ rather than on human gatherings or the people in them, we can start to know God’s ‘perfect peace’ as we trust Him. And then we can truly start to be a blessing to others – like that Christian in the snack bar.
Prayer: Dear Father, please forgive me if I am putting my faith and trust in man rather than in You. Help me to turn to You always and only as the source of my peace, my healing and my salvation – in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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