Why do people call their physician when they are sick? Because they are persuaded that the physician is the most qualified individual available for diagnosing and treating illness. They may, and indeed often do, dread going to the doctor, but they know it is worth it. No one else can offer them the kind of help they need. They might try to treat themselves or even pretend the illness isn’t that bad. But eventually, when they are convinced of their helplessness, they go. And they are willing to do, albeit grudgingly at times, what the physician prescribes. Sometimes the treatment is painful, but they believe he knows what is best and they are relying upon his judgment rather than their own.
Faith! We exercise it every day. Its depth, of course, is dependent upon the reliability of its object. We rely upon one product more than another because of past experience. We trust one child more than another because of age and maturity. We believe in one person over another because of deep awareness of the character of both.
How much more the God of the Bible! When He says we need a physician of the soul for an illness we cannot cure ourselves, for sins only He can forgive; when He tells us that if we but have faith in His Son, His forgiveness will be ours, how can we doubt Him? The Hebrew word for faith is aman (from which the word “amen” comes) and it means “to consider trustworthy.” That is exactly the meaning of faith. We believe God when we consider Him trustworthy, whether in respect to salvation or in everyday experience. He is the eminently trustworthy one. He cannot lie, He cannot forsake His promise, He cannot deny His Word.
Thus faith, along with love and hope, becomes the essence of our relationship to God. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). The existence of God is something every person knows to be true and yet suppresses the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). When, however, we choose to embrace that truth that our soul is screaming at us day in and day out, we choose to believe, or rely upon, the fact that God exists. But we must also believe He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him. We must believe His own testimony to our hearts that He is good and that He is on our side and wants us to come to Him for life.
This faith or trust in God’s goodness lived out day to day is exemplified in the Romans 8:28 attitude: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Is that your attitude toward whatever you are facing today? Do you have reason to doubt His love for you? Jesus is the proof He loves you and the reason you can be persuaded to rely upon His love.
“If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32)