Journeying Through the Mist
Written By: Chris Mace
The Captain gave the order. The day was promising, the forecast favorable. The sun was burning it’s way through lifting fog. All information pointed to a good sailing day. So the sails were hoisted.
Decision making is a familiar, daily but complicated process although it may be either instantaneous or prolonged depending on urgency or need for deliberation. We assess conditions and possibilities and then move ahead with plans which we hope will lead to best outcomes. Similarly, we formulate world views based on knowledge, observations, and experience. These ideas about origins, purpose, and meaning help determine attitudes, the way forward, and outcomes.
Life’s awesome mysteries spark curiosity and a search for interlocking pieces of the cosmic puzzle. Evidences may lead to different conclusions or theories about God, us, and the world we inhabit depending on perspective or bias. However, making these deductions requires accepting concepts which are not fully substantiated by the material world or our physical senses. So, “faith” enters the world view picture. Whether atheist, agnostic, a follower of Islam, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Jew, or a disciple of some other religion, one’s religious beliefs or anti-religious beliefs are based on facts, inferences, and theories from which we divide ourselves into different faith traditions and label ourselves as humanists, conservatives or liberals. Faith is a very personal matter; we all live with some beliefs that are difficult to fully substantiate.
If God exists, we can only know about Him from ways He reveals Himself to us. Christianity accepts evidences from creation, history, inspired revelation, and Jesus Christ.
Creation gives clues not only to God’s existence but to His nature: “His invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20)
Scripture is uniquely powerful. Through divine revelation, historical narrative, and generations of wonderful biographies of courageous men and women of faith, God’s presence, power, providence, and sovereignty are revealed. Furthermore, Scripture holds moral authority, discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart, is the power of God for salvation, and is profitable for teaching, reproof and training in righteousness (Hebrews 4:22) (Romans 1:16) (2Timothy 3:16)
Christianity may put all its eggs in one basket but not without reason. There are consistent eye witness accounts which bring great credibility to claims of and about Christ, who is “the image of God” and in him was the “fullness of God.” (Colossians 1) His miraculous incarnation, his perfect life and teachings, his miracles, his crucifixion for humanity’s sins, his death defying resurrection, and his astounding ascension were attested to by many:
After Christ’s resurrection, the Apostle John wrote: “now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)
Dr. Luke reported that Christ “presented himself alive (to his disciples) after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)
The Apostle Peter spoke of believers having a “living hope” because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3)
And the Apostle Paul confirmed the reality of the resurrected Christ to the Corinthians in his affirmation of the wonderful truth of an amazing gospel: ”For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
Faith need not be blind or devoid of logic or reason. However, it pushes beyond the boundaries of physical proof or full explanation. “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1 (NLT2) For Christians that confidence lies in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Believing faith in Christ trusts that God exists, is sovereign and of good character, that He desires to redeem us through the atoning work of Christ, and that He works providentially for our good and bestows spiritual blessings on those who choose Him. “For without faith it is impossible to please Him for He is a rewarder of those that believe Him” (Hebrews 11:6) Faith bestows righteousness and peace: “ …we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Genesis 15:6) (Romans 5:1 (NLT2)
Circumstances will unexpectedly blow in and obscure and mystify our course; the waters ahead will not always be calm or clear; the unspeakable and unexplainable will happen; fear and doubts will creep in. But faith looks at the evidences, sees beyond the seeable, trusts in a good and just God’s redemption and providence, and moves purposefully onward. Such is the mysterious earthly journey of the Christian. It is one of faith not sight. The righteous shall live by faith” because Christ made those who believe “right with God”. (Romans 1:16-17 ) (1Corinthians 1:30)
An old hymn champions the way ahead: “Standing on the promises that can not fail/ When the howling storms of doubts and fear assail/ by the living Word of God I shall prevail/Standing on the promises of God.”