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Friday, September 29, 2023

Facing the Facts With Faith

In Romans 4:19 it says, “Abraham was almost a hundred years old, much past the age for having children, and Sarah could not have children. Abraham thought about all this, but his faith in God did not become weak.” (NCV)

Sometimes people mistakenly believe that faith means ignoring the facts. But nothing could be further from the truth!

Abraham understood this: “Abraham was almost a hundred years old, much past the age for having children, and Sarah could not have children. Abraham thought about all this, but his faith in God did not become weak” (Romans 4:19 CEV).

Abraham was 99 years old; his wife was 89. It was medically impossible for them to have children. He didn’t deny the facts. He faced them with faith.

Faith doesn’t ignore reality. It doesn’t pretend there isn’t a problem. Faith is facing the facts in your life without being discouraged by them.

There are some who believe that they should deny their problems and just smile their way through life. But that’s not the way of Jesus.

Faith will never ask you and I to deny reality. It’s not living in denial. It’s not clinging to the past. Faith is not stubborn foolishness.

We may need to do some legitimate grieving for a diagnosis that we haven’t wanted to admit or a dream for our lives that won’t take place.

But we don’t need to have a pity party. Instead, be honest with God and say, “It didn’t turn out like I wanted, but I know you have a better plan for my life.”

That’s what faith looks like. God isn’t done with our lives. God has good things in store! We can face the facts and choose not to be discouraged by them.

When she was young, author and Holocaust survivor Corrie Ten Boom was engaged to be married. All of a sudden, the man broke up with her and married a friend. She was devastated. She never got married and ended up going through life as a single woman.

Corrie Ten Boom didn’t pull herself into a shell. She redirected her love. She became one of the most loving Christian leaders of the 20th century, influencing millions of people.

Once we face the facts, there are some things we can do to improve them, such as getting out of debt, making wise money choices and preparing for our future incomes.

She only did that because she refused to deny the facts. She trusted God and loved others through her faith. We can do the same.

For me, grieving is not the same as a pity party.  Grieving is experiencing and walking through the loss of something, and this in not only loved ones, but dreams and preconceived expectations.  A pity party is just pouting, complaining or holding a grudge over what I wanted but didn’t or will never get. 

Personally I have a medical diagnosis that will be with me for life.  It affects me physically, but with some really expensive medication I can cope and have a somewhat normal life. However, I’ll need to adjust my life and finances towards the reality of needing this expensive medication. As I consider retirement in the future I will need to adjust my finances and spending plans to match this reality.  But even with this, I know God has a plan for me, and I can share my story and experience with others sharing the same type of situation.

Also I find that facts are my friend. While the facts may not be what I want them to be, it helps deal with the reality and helps me prepare and not experience anxiety or depression.  This too is something I can use to help others face their important facts with faith.