Faith and a Latte
As I continue to work on writing my new book, Grace and Strong Coffee, I have begun to research and study about faith in God. I chose to write about God's amazing grace first because I am overwhelmed by the grace that I see in my life, every minute, every second, of every day. In every sunrise, person I meet, friends I spend time with and my sweet family. I see His grace in every event that happens in my life, every struggle, every heartbreak, every joy, every bit of hilarity, and every bit of peace. But, as I continue to write about and share the grace I encounter, I can't help but see how faith and grace go hand in hand. So, my next book will be, Faith and a Latte.
Because that is the direction I am heading, I thought I would try out some concepts on you as readers to get your feedback, input, stories, and ideas of having faith in a God we cannot see, often don't hear audibly, and cannot sit by and touch His robe. The Oxford dictionary defines faith as, "the complete trust or confidence in someone or something", and "a strong belief based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof". They both ring so true when we are discussing having faith in God. The Bible defines faith as, " the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1) All this means, for us latte drinking followers, is that we are to believe in Him in this way, unseen, yet trusting, with all our hearts, and to acknowledge him as God. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Sounds sooooo easy, doesn't it? If it were so easy, why would we need blogs and books and many, many passages in the Bible regarding faith. It is not that God makes it so hard for us to have, it really is that society makes it so hard for us to have. I recently had a conversation with a very close friend about her belief in God. She began right off with talking about why she doesn't like organized religion. But, faith has nothing to do with organized religion, it simply has to do with believing and trusting in an invisible God that we need to know personally. Society thinks that believing in something that is certainly "just a historical event" that has been written about, namely the Bible, namely Jesus, cannot be worth giving that much time to. Society believes that we must do for ourselves to get through our own problems, make ourselves successful, and get in life what we want and don't want. Society believes that each is for his own, do for yourself, don't worry about how you treat other people. Society can't even begin to believe that there is an amazing God who sent and amazing Son to Earth to live among them and deal with the same garbage we deal with today. Take Judas, for instance, he pledged his love and faithfulness to Jesus, whom he could see by the way. In his book Just Like Jesus, Max Lucado describes Judas as a scoundrel, a cheat, and a bum. Judas was "society", always thinking about himself, stealing from the money box so he could have more than the guy next door. Turning Jesus over to the authorities for 30 measly pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:50) Rather than remaining in faith and reaping the rewards that would certainly come to him if he were to simply have faith in Jesus rather than in the world, Judas turned over his friend for money.
How many times do we do this, I wonder, rather than remaining in faith? How many times do we do what society wants us to do and be, rather than turning to God with our faith and with open eyes and ears to hear and see what He wants us to do. Faith in Him means that you "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." (Proverbs 3: 5-6) Faith means you believe that Jesus will make all things possible because we believe. (Mark 9:23). It means you will have everything you ask for if you have faith. (Matthew 21:22) What great, amazing promises. How could we not want this, search for this with zeal, do everything we can to have it? Well, because we are human. It is because it is too easy to sit with friends at the local coffee shop and gossip about others. It's too easy to let the attackers win because others might not like us. It's too easy to put more time and effort into buying make-up and clothes, getting our hair done, having our nails painted, then to spend time with God, reading his word and praying and worshiping. Oh, I'm the coffee shop gal in this story. I am the best gossiper in town, well, not the best, but I can give it a good go.
Here is the good thing though. Jesus loved Judas. He loved him, he called him friend, he found good in him. That is the good news of Jesus and of faith. He loves us because we have pledge our faith to Him. He loves us when we mess up and gossip in the coffee shop. He loves us when we follow society rather than follow him. God is in it all if we just have faith, that believing and trusting and acknowledging of him. Jesus is in love with us the minute we believe with the faith as small as a mustard seed. (Matthew 17:20). Jesus is standing by right now with his free grace because he choses to save us from society because of our faith in Him, not because of our own doing. (Ephesians 2:8-9) God's grace is so amazing that all we need to do is let Him know and see that we have this faith and love for him and that we use it to try to become better followers of him. And, when we do this, we will receive what we ask for (Matt. 21:22), we will overcome the world (1 John 5:4), we will never be put to shame (Romans 10:11), we will be healed (Luke 8:50), and we will live eternal life. This is worth having this crazy thing called faith. This is worth loving a God unseen, although, once this faith is manifested in you, I guarantee, you will see God, you will hear him speak, you will feel his robe as he walks into the room.
Pour yourself that latte, sit down and share your faith with the Master. Watch what he can do and how your life will change.