‘Tis the season when legend and Hollywood’s tall tales influence the expectations of children … and oodle’s of parents face the sobering task of explaining the truth to kids they’ve been lying to for years. (Nothing’s quite like admitting you’re the one who put those presents under the tree, as if the fact Santa’s handwriting looks just like yours wasn’t enough of a clue!)
But there are some things worthy of believing in. Unchanging principles. Unshakable character. A story that never changes (unlike the metamorphosis of a priest anonymously helping a poor family into an elf-assisted, flying-reindeer-pulled-sleigh-driving, chimney-diving, cookie-eating, magical toy deliverer).
That brings me to this week’s character trait. Faith. It’s complete trust or confidence in something or someone. It’s belief that is not based on proof. Or as the writer of Hebrews puts it, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)
I have faith that the chair I’m sitting on will hold me up. I don’t have proof that it will continue to do so, but based on what I know about the materials, construction, shape, law of gravity, observations of others using this chair, and my personal experiences just yesterday, I have confidence that I can sit without falling to the floor.
I also have faith in God and the truth of His Word. I have not seen Him face-to-face, but I am absolutely certain that He is there. I am certain of His character because I’ve seen (and read about) His hand working in the lives of others. I see His fingerprints in the created world around me and I have past personal experiences that agree with what the Bible says about God. And I have faith that He is coming again to judge the Earth and reward those who have been faithful (and punish those who have not). We’re going to get what’s coming to us!
As Paul wrote, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV) I’ve seen this unchanging principle over and over. Those who plant radishes, grow radishes. Those who plant corn, get corn. Those who lie, manipulate, and cheat … eventually get lied to, manipulated, and cheated. And those who give of themselves to help others … find themselves helped in return. (Sounds a little like Santa’s naughty and nice list. I guess some things are always true.)
Faith is the confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how. So, this week, this Christmas season, and into next year, I’ll keep on doing what I should be doing … because I have faith.
What about you? When did you stop believing in Santa Claus? Do you have faith in unshakable principles? How does that relate to having faith in God?