God, the Father, is with us
Father’s Day—a time when we honor the men in our lives. Whether you have ever been a dad or not, there is one thing we know for sure, we all have had a dad.
Some dads are very present and very active in their child’s life. Others, not so much.
As we go through life, our expectations and understandings of what it means to be or have a dad can change.
My dad passed away in 2004 and I am thankful each day for the things he taught me and how he gave me the encouragement to try something even if I didn’t know how to do it.
I was taught to believe in myself. My dad, my sisters and I built our family home. My dad taught me the basics in taking care of my vehicle and how it runs, although he would never let me change the oil because he was afraid of the car falling on me. There are so many things he taught me to do and because of that I can claim:
“If you do not stand firm in faith, you shall not stand at all.” Isaiah 7:9b.
I know one of my dad’s proudest moments is when I became a pastor. He would smile ear-to-ear, and sometimes even shed a tear, when he would tell someone, “This is my daughter, she’s a pastor.”
I know another Father that claimed and proclaimed with much more admiration. Jesus was with John the Baptist in the river Jordan. He was standing there praying and the heavens opened up and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove and a voice came from heaven. “This is my Son, the beloved, with you I am well pleased,” God the Father spoke.
When did you first become aware of God? Where did your faith journey begin? Was it something you learned in your family? Was it going to church? Or perhaps something you made part of your life as an adult?
Ephesians 6:1-4 teaches us, “Children, obey your parents as the Lord wants, because this is the right thing to do. The command says, ‘Honor your father and mother.’ This is the first command that has a promise with it— ‘Then everything will be well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth.’ Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord.”
Faith formation is more than a subject to be taught. It’s an invitation to a way of life and God gives our parents the responsibility of developing our faith understanding.
In scripture from Hebrews 11:6 we hear, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Where do you stand in your faith journey? Do you believe in God because it’s what you have been taught to believe so you don’t question it? You just accept it? Or are you a person who needs a little more evidence?
In Hebrews 11:1 we hear, “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” It’s being willing to say Lord I believe and then asking the Lord, help my unbelief.
The phrase seeing is believing really doesn’t apply here. God calls us to step out and trust him, to remember that God has said, “let there be.” It worked for the creation of the world, it can work for whatever situation we find ourselves in. Faith is key to our existence. As I said earlier, it is being sure of what we hope for, being willing to pull from the strength we have been given, even when we don’t see the possibilities.
Even those who walked the earth with Jesus, those who were with him day in and day out, had times of doubt. Like the time we read about in Mark 4:35-41 “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up. ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”
Have you still no faith?! It’s as if he was saying to them, “You have seen and still you doubt. Have faith, trust me.”
Faith is not hoping God can. It’s knowing he will. Let me say that again. Faith is not hoping God can, it’s knowing God will. We must believe. We must have faith, have passion, believe in grace, have the knowledge of his peace, know of his presence and affirm he is near!
Our faith is a journey. There will be up times and down times. There will be times when the road feels full of potholes and curves. There will be times when we struggle to travel the straight road. But we must remember what it is we believe. We must remember we are not alone on this journey.
God, the Father, is with us!