devotional thought of the day:
26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:26-28 (NLT)
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
127 The test, I don’t deny it, proves to be very hard: you have to go uphill, “against the grain”. What is my advice? That you must say: Omnia in bonum, everything that happens, “everything that happens to me”, is for my own good… Therefore do accept what seems so hard to you, as a sweet and pleasant reality. (1)
We hear the passages, the plea that is the question,
“do you believe in Jesus?”
We nod our head, maybe even say a strong, gut level yes. We proceed to talk about some aspect of doctrine, or some moment in the past where our “faith” became alive and meaningful. We know we are going to heaven, (aren’t we?) but we struggle to understand what that really means.
We believe, which I think too often we define as “we know”. We reinforce that when we talk of defending the faith as arguing about doctrine, or some theological principle or proof, such as the proof for the existence of God. Or even our “new believer’s class, which can appropriately cover a catechism, but is all question and answers, including some interesting tangents. Such knowledge is necessary and beneficial, but it is not what our faith is, it is simply a description of it.
Faith is a level of trust, a level of dependance on God. It is knowing that He will indeed keep His promises, the promises He has actually made to you and others who know Him.
It is knowing that all things will work together for good. All things, yeah, even when that moment occurs when you are revealed to be broken to the entire world. Yes, even those times you struggled with the brokenness of the world, and the inability of anyone to deal with it. As St. Josemaria encourages us, we accept what happens, not liking it, but confident in God will prove Himself again worthy of your trust, caring for you, healing you, holding you.
Faith is an intimate relationship with God, on His terms, based in His love, by His standards. It’s a non-negotiable relationship, what we call a religion. After all, He is the One who created us, the One who is pure wisdom, pure love, pure reality, pure grace. A grace, a charism, a gift of life that is beyond anything we can imagine.
The odd thing is, we find ourselves closest to comprehending it, not during mountaintop experiences, but in the midst of our brokenness. In is in the depth our sorrow, our anxiety, our grief that the light of the Holy Spirit comes in the brightest. It is the midst of those times we pray, and we depend, and trust, and find Him holding onto us.
Maybe you are there, in the middle of brokenness, in despair and need to know that God loves you. I assure you that He does. That He will pick you up, as He has picked me up. As He continues to minister to us all.
I’ll leave you with this, a video of Rich Mullins, whose brokenness…is as evident as his dependance, his trust, his faith in God
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 720-724). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.