Friday, September 27, 2019

Relying on Faith

I (the Other Chad), while a long time Truthbomb member, have not been a regular blogger on our website.  At most, I have posted material on a bi-weekly basis.  For most of this summer, I have taken somewhat of a hiatus from blogging.  While summer tends to lead to family vacations, modified schedules, and a different pace of life, for me it arrived with the passing of my dad.
Dad passed away on June 21st, 2019, at the age of 67.  While his health wasn't the greatest and his heart only functioning at half of what it should be, it was still a shock when I learned that he had passed.  At age 42, I am now without both of my parents, as my mom already left this world over 15 years ago.

I must admit it is a very strange experience being without both parents.  The links to our previous generations of families feels somewhat broken.  All that is left are pictures, possessions, and memories of a previous life.  At times, there are feelings of wandering, almost like in a desert, unclear of what direction to take.

This life experience, while difficult, has also been an opportunity for me to rely on faith.  Specifically, faith in the existence of God and the hope found only in the good news delivered by His Son, Jesus Christ.

The reality of pain, suffering, and death has always been the one obstacle that has presented challenges to my faith.  The same goes for many others who have walked this earth and faced various traumatic events related to war, disease, human bondage, natural disasters, or any other type of event, leaving them to question whether there really is a God who would allow such things.

Over the summer, I learned of the struggles of those who at one point proclaimed to be Christians- Joshua Harris and Marty Sampson.  One sold millions of books while the other was an integral part of the popular group Hillsong.  I was saddened as I read about their struggles.  But at the same time, their reasoning for abandoning or losing their faith seem to be related to being overcome by emotional doubts and objections. William Lane Craig and Kevin Harris discussed their take on recent Reasonable Faith podcasts which can be found here.

What I have found in my own personal journey is that I can rely on the things that I have learned and experienced as a follower of Jesus Christ.  Also, moments like my dad's passing are actually opportunities to share the Christian Faith and how it actually provides hope when hope seems lost.
I was recently pointed to a devotional by John Piper entitled "Five Purposes for Suffering."  I found this very helpful and encouraging.  Piper uses five "R's" to help us remember the "macro" reasons for God's allowing us to experience suffering-

  • Repentance
  • Reliance
  • Righteousness
  • Reward
  • Reminder

I can certainly relate to these points and it has helped me to be "reminded" that while there is constant pain and suffering in the world in which we live, there is a greater hope that lies ahead and is attainable to all who choose to believe it and accept it.  It was an honor for me to share this message at my dad's service, where I am hopeful that it resonated with both believers and non-believers alike.
While the season I'm currently living through hasn't yet come to an end, I felt the need to write down my thoughts and experiences not only for personal healing, but to encourage others as well who may be in a similar season of life.

God Bless,