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Faith Stories - Keith J.

07.20.16

    Faith story…..    I think it is an interesting title.  Before I accepted Jesus and maybe for a period after I didn’t really know what faith meant.  Yes, I knew it meant that you believe in something but “faith in Jesus” didn‘t seem real to me.  

     

    One of my earliest memories is being dragged to church by my mom.  My dad stayed out of it.  Church seemed very boring outside of the social aspects on Wednesday nights.  Eventually, I didn’t want much to do with it.   My faith was dormant.  

     

    Around the beginning of college I started to become more interested in spiritual matters.  I’m not sure why.  About that time a friend invited me to his new church.  It sparked something in me.  Next, my brother invited me to a Bible study that his former soccer coach led.  The Bible study was good.  Something seemed right.  However, I had a long list of questions … 

     

    • “If Jesus is the only way what about the person in an African tribe who never hears of Jesus?”  
    • “What about all my old friends that don’t seem to be a good fit with my new faith?” 
    • “How is it that we have free will to choose that Jesus is the way to God, yet this very “faith” to believe this comes from Him?”
    • “If a tree falls in the forest…”  Wait.  That’s a different question.

     

    The questions went on and on.  I had an interesting mix of feelings.  On one hand something deep inside told me that the Bible was truth.  On the other hand I didn’t have an answer for all of my questions.  It was a terrible dilemma.  But, my faith was awakening.

     

    Over time God used by brother’s former soccer coach to help me.  Every time we got together he would ask very meaningful God questions.   However, he never pressured me into making a decision.  He somehow knew that pressure was not how I would come to know Jesus.  

     

    I can’t point to a specific date that I became a believer in Jesus.  It was sort of like a scale tipping to one side then tipping slightly back the either.  Eventually and through the grace of God there was enough weight on the Jesus side.  I knew deep inside it was the right choice.  I think I was around 21 years old.

     

    God eventually answered my questions - just not the way I thought he would.  He somehow spoke deep inside and told me He was a just Judge and that I didn’t have to worry about every question.  I know that this isn’t good reasoning to the true analytic but it was just what I needed.  I still love questions.  I truly believe that if the Bible is the truth no amount of honest questioning will contradict it.

     

    This is where I think faith stories become interesting.  I thought that once you become a Christian things get easier.  Hey, the Holy Spirit is helping me isn’t He?  I’ve come to realize that God is not only interested in the initial faith but even more in deepening our faith.  I’ve been fairly disappointed to learn that this “deepening” occurs mostly through trials.  I guess it is a bit of our human nature.  We seek Him in tougher times and sort of forget about Him when we don’t have many worries.  I’ve thought a lot about this. 

     

    I think it is because if we had an immediate measure of deep faith we would look back over a period of years and feel that we had done it.  We would stop seeking Him.  God never lets us forget that we are the clay and He is the potter.  Thank you God that my faith story is continuing to be written.