I put my faith in lots of things and people every day. I trust them to do what they say they say going to do and for the most part those things get done. I trust that the car will get me to where I want to go. I trust my doctor to prescribe the right medication and I trust the pharmacist to be able to give me the correct dose for the prescription.
I think we could all sit down and come up with a list of people and things that we have put our faith in today. There may also be some things and people who have let us down and failed us in some way but for the most part, it is true to say that our faith has not been misplaced as we have received what we expected.
We even trust things that we can’t see like electricity which we just take for granted. As we reach for the light switch or turn on the kettle, we expect the power to come through so that we can see in the dark and make a cup of tea. I guess that living out here in the country we sometimes have a slight hesitation about the ability of the power to stay on particularly with the overhead cables in high winds but for the most part we are confident that things will work the way that they are meant to.
However, when it comes to having faith in God it is often a different matter altogether. We can so easily doubt God’s ability or intention to provide or give us what he has promised. We can believe that the fridge will keep our beer cool but we find it difficult to believe that God will answer our prayer for guidance or provision. We would rather trust in ourselves and our own resourcefulness than we would in God because we find it easier to rely on ourselves than on God. We find it difficult to have faith in God particularly in the details of life.
This is usually because we don’t really believe that God is that interested in us or we may have come to the conclusion that he doesn’t exist. Belief in the God who doesn’t exist becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because as we deny him access to our lives, he withdraws his presence so that it feels like he is not there. But he is there and when we do reach out and put our faith in him then we may well be surprised at what he can do for us and for those around us.
Rev. Dr Christopher Noble – Rector
St Mary’s Stansted with Fairseat and Vigo