Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Sincere Faith That Overcomes

(Many of them, however, believed in Jesus, even among the rulers, but they did not acknowledge him because of the Pharisees, lest they be put out of the synagogue. They preferred to be approved by people rather than by God” - Jn. 12:42-43)

In his parting words to the disciples, Jesus refers to a faith that is victorious over obstacles in our transitory life on this earth. “In the world you will have trouble, but be brave: I have conquered the world” (Jn. 16:33). If we keep our trust in Jesus and continue following His ways, most surely we are assured of victory and salvation, since God’s word cannot lie nor be mistaken. Of course, it is presupposed here that we are sincere and truthful in our hearts since God knows all, even our deepest secrets. I guess that’s what Shakespeare implied when he states in Hamlet (act i, sc.3: “to thine own self be true and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man..”

That is why in Psalm 91: 8-13 God asks us to look around, study or contemplate human history of persons and events – “You have only to look around to see how the wicked are repaid, you who can say, ‘Yahweh my refuge,’ and make Elyon your fortress. No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent: he will put you in his angels charge to guard you wherever you go.”

In that same Psalm 91:7 God’s protection is assured for His faithful and believing people: “Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, you yourself will remain unscathed, with his faithfulness for shield and buckler.” This means, of course, as in the life of Jesus and the Saints, we have to have frequent recourse to God in prayer and conversation, as to a faithful friend. Such prayer and trust is based on our firm reliance on His very word that tells us: “We can be sure that we love God’s children if we love God himself and do what he has commanded us; this is what loving God is – keeping his commandments; and his commandments are not difficult, because anyone who has been begotten by God has already overcome the world; this is the victory over the world—our faith” (1 Jn. 5:2-4).

 Trust in the ever reassuring and unfailing word of Jesus: “Ask and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him” (Mt. 7:7). God will answer our prayers if we persevere, and with the help of the Saints we can always invoke or call upon, since we may ourselves feel weak and unworthy, we must keep on full of trust and doing God’s will.

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