Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (ESV)
That’s a pretty straightforward definition. But faith has been a big hurdle in my life that I’m still picking apart and working through.
I’m a believer, and I’m a theatre arts major at a very liberal college. And believe me, the amount of pain you can endure when you’re both of those things at once is a lot.
This last semester felt like hit after hit after hit. Not that I was enduring public reproach and affliction, but I still got worn down and weary after almost five months of just being there.
You know, the hard thing about fighting battles is that the enemy doesn’t like to be straightforward with us. He’s not honest. His specialty is confusion and deception. I always thought that meant making sin look tempting, making bad things look good.
But I’ve realized it also means making important things look unimportant. Making God’s calling for me look silly. Makes going to class every day and chatting with non-believers about random stuff look like a waste of time. The enemy is attacking me, and trying to make it look like I’m just hurting myself.
That’s where the deception comes in. Satan tries to tell me that what I’m doing isn’t holy enough. He guilt-trips me into thinking I’m not doing what God wants me to do, because it’s not making a difference.
When I finally got to summer break this year, it was like a breath of fresh air. I’m still recovering from the semester. I’m beaten up and bruised. And I keep thinking, “Man, I wouldn’t mind having these bruises if all these non-christians knew that they were hurting me.” But from what I can see, none of them even know for sure that I’m a christian. I mean, they knew I’m pretty conservative- probably label me as naïve. But do they know what I believe? I never told them word-for-word.
From what I can see. That’s a pretty limited vision.
I’ve heard it a million times- a candle burns brighter in a dark room. But I feel like everyone in the room is wearing blindfolds, so they don’t even notice me. These bruises are from being trampled underfoot, not swinging punches in a fight. They don’t even know they’re fighting God.
In the end, that’s not the point. The point is that God has me right here, right now. He’s given me a summer break, and believe me, I need this respite from the battle so badly.
I might never see these people become Christians. I might not have one of those wonderful moments where you run into them decades later, and they’re a Christian now.
That’s not the point either.
The point is not what I can do. The point is not what I have done, what I am doing, what I will do. The point is not me.
The point is God.
So I’m trying to look at these bruises and not be discouraged, but encouraged.
Acts 5:41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.