Unwavering Faith? Greg Albrecht
A friend of mine, enduring some painful struggles, asked me to continue to pray for him. He was particularly concerned, as he said, that “my faith doesn’t waver.”
I started thinking about “unwavering” faith. Everything human wavers – love, commitment, trust, honesty, fidelity, patience – it all wavers. Human faith wavers. We are not the rock – Jesus is. Jesus is the unmoved mover. He is always here for and with us. Jesus never walks away and abandons us. He is perfectly faithful.
It may well be the most faithful action any of us as Christ followers can summons from purely human resources is a cry for “help.” The lyrics written and performed by the fab four theologians from Liverpool boldly declared: “Help, I need somebody … Help, just not anybody…”
I believe the most faithful action any of us as Christ followers can summons from purely human sources is an absolute expression of dependence upon God. While not from Liverpool, Paul was a “decent sort” (to use the British idiom) of a theologian himself – “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
Giving up and surrendering independence from God is an act of faith. This act of desperation, also called “repentance” in the Bible, may not entirely be accounted for by human strength, for repentance itself is a gift of God. To God alone goes all the glory.
Desperation is the “perfect storm” for grace – being down and out, in the lowest of low places invites God’s grace to flow to us, via divine gravity, without religious obstacles. When we are in such a place, there are no barriers or hindrances we present to the faith God gives us. In such a state, God’s river of grace flows freely, without interference from pride, ego or presumed religious accomplishments, treasures or ribbons or certificates proclaiming our goodness.
Crying out to God for help is probably the most unadulterated way, apart from the indwelling grace of God and our risen Lord, in which we humans evidence and articulate faith. Faith in God in the midst of undeniable weakness just might be the purest form of faith we humans can muster. But this faith is human, and faith realized during abject weakness wavers, because when life no longer seems immediately hopeless we tend to quickly revert to independence from God.
Our life as
God loves us when we know we need him. God also loves us when we pretend we don’t need him or even, like Peter denying Christ, when we pretend not to know him. His faith in us never wavers… even when our faith wavers.