How do you deal with the ‘facts of life?’ Recently, we had a good friend diagnosed with cancer. The process of hearing the news always causes a mixture of emotions for not only the person diagnosed but also friends and family. Funny how a fact – a diagnosable fact of life- can cause you to have faith or fear.
This above-mentioned friend and his wife stopped by the house the other day on a whim (“they were in the neighborhood”). It is rather great how a surprise visit (no matter the length) can turn into an unexpected blessing. Never not take the time to stop by or call or text a friend just to let them know you care. It is invaluable and worth the effort! So, as we sat there and chatted about his recent diagnosis, his wife said, “During a time of prayer and worship, God gave me a word picture: Facts or faith.” We chatted about this for a moment, laughed and enjoyed one another.
After they left, I thought about her statement: Facts or Faith. The more I thought about it; it hit me that facts are nothing more than that; facts. They provide useful information but what they produce in us is something much more. The facts of life produce faith and/or fear. Let me give you some examples.
1. Fact: Cancer Diagnosis
Faith: God is my healer & deliverer. He is in control. He is trustworthy.
Fear: I have no control. Why did this happen to me? God is not good.
2. Fact: Bank account at $0
Faith: God is my provider and sustainer. I lack nothing.
Fear: I have nothing. I will never amount to anything. I am not good enough.
3. Fact: A person lied about or mistreated me.
Faith: God is my defender. My identity is secure and not based on what others think, do or say.
Fear: What will others think about me? Will others like me? My reputation is ruined.
I do not mean to over-simplify something as significant as a cancer diagnosis, loss of a loved one, money troubles, abuse, etc…These events and many more are significant moments in our lives. However, what I do want to emphasize is that during your life, you may get diagnosed with cancer, lose a loved one, have unexpected money troubles, your name slandered or a host of other things – these facts are just that: pieces of information that contain objective reality. And that information then causes a response to arise in us that lends itself to either faith or fear. Now, I am fully aware, that fear, anger & anxiety may rise up at the initial hearing of the facts but those emotions must be replaced with faith if we are to overcome the ‘facts of life.’
Three verses: (read & meditate)
1. Philip. 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds…”
2. Joshua 1:9 – ” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
3. Eph. 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”