The Counsel of Trent

writing is thinking

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Faith is Risk (The Deepest Lesson I've Learned)

[Note to Reader: This is a very personal post and the most important one I've ever made. It represents the greatest drama of my life this far and it determines how I live my life on a daily basis. I may never learn a more important lesson and I wouldn't be surprised if most of my life's work is simply expanding on or mining the depths of this truth.]]

> [Trent Dougherty] ...The proposition
> (U) I am called to make my life a resource
> for others.
> Seems to me to be true of all Xns. So if you think
> it's true to, is the
> problem the *effect* it has on your psyche? For
> example, I fear that God
> will hit me where it hurts the most, my family, just
> to test me. I think
> the proposition
> (W) God has a right to call home whom he
> wants when he wants.
> Is probably true, but I resent the possible
> intrusion into my life so much
> it is a barrier between myself and God, it makes me
> fear and loath Him. I
> also think the proposition
> (E) God is free from moral reprobation for
> all actual evils.
> is true, but I still fear and loath Him for allowing
> those evils. Is your
> problem with (U) like my problem with (W) and (E)?

[Trent Dougherty] OhthankGod! This was the only point in all the conversation where I really felt like I understood. I recall wishing I’d just ended the message here because it somewhat fell apart at the end.
It's basically the idea that what I fear
most will automatically be required from me, by
definition. I'm not really sure why. It's just this
reverse psychology game I've got going, because I'm
afraid that i really do look on God as a torturer most
of the time. I would never complain against him, mind
you, and I agree (with you) that God is free from
moral reprobation for all actual evils, but I really
must say that I do not look on God as a benevolent
figure at all. I really don't know why this is (it
wasn't always this way), but it is becoming
increasingly MORESO.
[Trent Dougherty] I have no solution, but I’m in there with you. As I think I said, the thing that works for me and has helped me define the concept of faith is realizing that IF Xnty is true, then what Paul says in his letter to the Romans is correct, these are the verses I live by, cling to, no written words speak to me the way the following passage does (read it slowly, because I want you to memorize it in the translation of your choice):

15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.[7] And by him we cry, "Abba,[8] Father." 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Future Glory 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[9] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. More Than Conquerors 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[10] who[11] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He 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? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[12] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[13] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I’m willing to risk all my potential Earthly happiness on that truth…or at least I endeavor to be willing to risk it. My faith is measured to the degree that I actually do risk it. Whether we make the wager is up to us.


At Tuesday, March 13, 2007 10:37:00 PM, Blogger AmandaLaine said...

That's a beautiful post. I've thought for a long time how faith is risk and I've hated it. But I see it is necessary (Hebrews 11:6). Again, that was a beautiful post.

At Thursday, March 29, 2007 3:32:00 AM, Blogger Øystein said...

I agree! A beautiful post. Just found it while browsing Trent's other blogposts. You post much interesting stuff here, Trent. I haven't found many posts about the nature of faith in general, but there seem to be a number here, and most of them have clarified many things.

Thank you, and keep going!


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