OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire #68 Audacious Faith
I felt like a fool last week. After hearing what I thought were gunshots, I called 911.
I was awake at about 1:30AM one night when I heard a big boom. There is a train yard nearby and we often hear the clangs and crashes of shunting cars, but this was different, less metallic, more “boomy,” like a shotgun blast. As I lay there wondering if I had actually heard a gunshot, I heard a crack, followed shortly by another big boom. As a hunter, I was convinced I had just heard shots from at least two kinds of guns.
The police response was swift. Less than 5 minutes later 3 or 4 squad cars arrived and began rolling through the neighbourhood as one of the officers took my statement. Did I know anyone in the area with guns? Could it have been fireworks? I felt silly, but he reassured me. A few weeks before, they had responded to a report in another part of the city and someone had actually been shot. They patrolled for half an hour or so, but I don’t think they found anything.
Since then I have reviewed the events in my mind. Did I actually hear gunshots? Was it just the trains? But what about the sharp crack? I remain convinced I heard shots, but it is hard to believe, especially since no one else seems to have heard them.
The issue of sounding like a fool came to my mind as I reviewed the last of the “little faith” passages.
When the disciples asked why they could not heal a boy, Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith.” (Matthew 17:20)
The phrase “little faith” drew me to the passage, but the next sentence caught my attention. “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, `Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
How much faith is enough faith? With only a small amount of faith we could do extraordinary things. And yet, it seems we don’t often see the incredible happen. Small faith seems to be the problem. Certainly we believe that the same God who created the mountains could move one if he wanted. His strength is not to blame.
There is part of this discussion which sounds like crazy talk. Casting out demons and moving mountains seem to be the fantasy stuff of movie legends. Are we foolish to think this could be real? For us? Right now?
This is exactly the point. Faith often appears foolish. It defies the reality we see with our eyes in order to recognize the one God sees. In this way faith does not always make sense. In fact, it may go against what many view as “common sense.”
The challenge of this passage is to have an audacious faith, a bold faith which believes even when it goes against popular opinion. Audacious faith is not limited to what we have seen before. Rather, it dares to believe in what many think is impossible. I am challenged by these words. When is the last time my faith passed the “crazy test?” Good question....
I hope this helps us all to have a stronger, bolder, audacious faith. Be on fire.
OnFire is a bi-weekly letter on faith and character written by Troy Dennis. Troy is the Pastor of Family Ministries at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. This letter published Nov 8, 2011. To subscribe or reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives are located at www.onfireletter.com. Blog located at www.onfireletter.blogspot.com.