2020 has been real fun so far, right? I mean just about as much fun as dipping yourself in honey and running into a bear. I think the problem I feel so keenly after Covid-19, is where do we go from here? We aren’t sure what next week holds, next month, 6 months, and next year seems a couple years away. To say we are living in a fog is an understatement. I was hoping for clarity and smooth paths in 2020. I was hoping for greater things. Last year was rough and I was hoping for a great year this go around. My hope has been delayed.
Here is the good and bad news. We were never to live by hope. I heard a great sermon yesterday by one of my favorite preachers Judah Smith. (Judah, if you accidentally read this, you have no clue how Jesus has used you to encourage my heart and keep me going so many times.) He reminded me of the reality that we should live by faith not by hope. Our hopes don’t always come to pass, but the object of our faith will never let us down. That hit me really hard this morning as I was reading Hebrews 10 38-39, “But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in Him.”
When we live by hope, we are often disappointed. We stay steady when we keep our eyes on Jesus. Faith! Since Covid-19 hit and the world closed down, I have to admit that my eyes haven’t been solely on Jesus. I feel disoriented. It has been hard to focus on anything let alone Jesus. Then my emotions have been all over the place because my hopes keep getting dashed. THAT STOPS TODAY!
I am tired and worn out and I am done living by hope. I have already told the Lord that I am sorry for not living by faith and not trusting Him. I am ready to start living again, not just trying to find my “New Normal.” I never had a normal life to begin with. Anyone who knows my story or has spent at least 15 minutes with me can testify to the fact that I’m not normal. And that is ok. But for the last several months, I feel like I’ve been holding my breath and waiting for it to get worse. What a lousy way to approach life!!! So how do we go back to living and especially living by faith??? I’m glad you asked.
To be honest, I am not 100% sure. I am still working through this myself. I think the first step is to begin looking for Jesus again. Where do you always find Jesus? I know the temptation is to say church, but that isn’t personal enough. Look at the 4 gospels to start with. Look at the life of Jesus and let Him begin to fix your lens by which you view the world. You need to start seeing Jesus when you look at your work struggles. You need to see Jesus when you fight with your spouse. You need to see Jesus when you feel tempted to fall for that same old sin. To live by faith is to live by spiritual realities. Our spiritual reality says we view every situation as an act of worship and way to follow Him, even when our eyes can’t see Him and our emotions tell us to run.
The second way to live by faith is looking for ways to trust Jesus. Right now, we are tempted to trust the government, the CDC, our bank account, the stock market, the news, or the waist band holding up our sweat pants. Those are not evil in and of themselves, but they will fail at some point. They cannot deliver. They aren’t perfect. If they are the object of your faith or hope, you will be disappointed. That’s not a good guarantee. I need something better. Like Romans 10:11, “Whoever believes (trusts) in Him (Jesus) will not be disappointed.” That’s more like it. When we walk by faith, we choose to trust Jesus knowing that we will not be disappointed. When we face any situation or even just a regular day, we go to Him first in prayer. Ask Him, “Where are you at work around me?” and “How can I join you in it?” When we live like that, we are looking for Him and we will see Him all around us. This will transform our perspective and it will change our view of the world.
The third aspect of walking by faith is being in a friendship at encourages you to keep going on your toughest day. We all have a quit default built in us. We are all different when it comes to what triggers it, but it is real nonetheless. Check out Hebrews 10:24, “Let consider how to stimulate one another to love and good works.” We need people around us who will challenge us to keep going and not give up. I have men in my life right now that will keep me from quitting, offer perspective, and sharpen me in many areas. I couldn’t do it without them. You need that type of friend to help you keep running the race of faith and not give up before you cross the finish line.
So which one is lacking in your life right now. Figure it out and go hard to get it. It will change your view on life and it will change the rest of your year. Think about the second half of 2020. Do you want more of the same, or do you want to start living again? I want to live again, living by faith. My trust had gotten low, but I choose not to camp out there.
How can I encourage or pray for you during this time? I want to inspire you to live by faith, no matter what you face in the weeks, months, or years to come.
Grace and Peace to you as you live by faith.