Wes Kimball is a former youth of mine, starting his first year at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. Wes is a young man I think, who’s pretty wise and insightful beyond his years. I think he highlights something important here: we all believe in something; it’s how we’re wired. That may be ourselves, God, the world, etc., but we all believe in something. The call is to examine what we’re believing in, and whether that is life-giving and hopeful to us in all moments of life.
To me, faith matters because it challenges our beliefs. If we lived day to day having God give us messages directly the way he did to Noah or Moses, there would be no need for faith. We’d have solid proof that God (and through Him, Jesus) existed. However, because we don’t get that divine phone call, we have to rely on our beliefs, and our faith.
In our daily lives we are challenged by everyone, scientists, friends and family, about why we believe what we believe. The easy answer is our faith allows us to believe it, but for those without faith, this only brings up more questions than answers. My faith has been founded because God has gotten me through annual trials and tribulations for the past thirteen years, and to this day had never let me down, or left me in a worse position than when I started.
Everyone’s faith is their own, and as much as we can try to relate with those of others, we cannot connect with theirs’ because it is between them and God. I was talking to an incoming High School student last week, and he believes solely because he has grown up in a Christian family; however he has never had any reason to doubt because he has never been tried. As he gets older, he’s going to face death, drugs, abandonment, I pray that he doesn’t but the odds aren’t in his favor. His faith has a foundation, however if he stops culturing it, when the trials come, he’ll be washed away by the storm.
That is why faith matters. As terrible things happen in your life, you need to have that spiritual support to make it through the challenges. It’s like a woman who lives on an island in a river with her child. One day a terrible storm comes, and the raging river engulfs the island. She tries to get to shore keeping he child above the water the whole way, but as the child get to shore, the mother drowns. Jesus died to save us from this storm, and our faith in him needs to be there to get us through the storms, so that we don’t drown.