So often we are living in the aftermath of an event that left us full of tears. Now we’re in a dark time, experiencing the pain of suffering, despair, heartache.
Much like the disciples must have felt on the Saturday after the crucifixion.
They waited in their despondency, unaware of what was to happen the next morning; the joy of new life, resurrection, rising from the ashes of pain.
And that’s where faith grows.In the dark, when we can’t see. The very definition of faith is “...the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Heb. 11:1
Faith isn’t wishful thinking, or hope without a solid foundation. It is comprised of two elements: truth and experience. And it must have both, or it isn’t true faith.
There are people who know Scripture well, but have no experience or relationship with its Author. Years ago, I worked with a brilliant guy, a certified Mensa genius. While he was in seminary, he memorized the entire Bible. Sadly, he also decided that he didn’t believe in God and so quit the seminary.
He had more knowledge of the truth than I ever hope to. Yet he had no experience or relationship with God, and so all his knowledge was in vain.
Then there are people who trust only in their experiences, but have no anchor of truth in the Word. Consequently they are tossed about with every wave of life. Their faith rests in their emotions and so they’re happy and trusting God when things are going well, but lose all hope when trouble strikes.
In the first episode of the TV series A.D., there is an excellent exchange between Mary, Jesus’ mother, and Mary Magdelene. After Mary tells Peter and the disciples, “Have you forgotten His prophecy? He promises to rise from death. Have you forgotten so quickly? CAN YOU NOT WAIT?,” she then left the room, and Mary Magdelene followed and asked her, “Are you sure He’s coming?”
“I know He is,” Mary replied.
“How can you be so sure?”
“He raised others from death. This is what was prophesied, what He promised. Then why not Himself?”
Mary’s reply contains all the elements of faith:
Truth: “what was prophesied, what He promised.”
Experience: “He raised others from death.”
Faith: He’ll raise Himself.
Our faith grows and deepens in the dark when we stand on the truth of God’s Word lived out in our life experiences.