Not certainty, but trust

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When we get our spiritual house in order, we’ll be dead. This goes on. You arrive at enough certainty to be able to make your way, but it is making it in darkness. Don’t expect faith to clear up things for you. It is trust, not certainty.

–Flannery O’Connor

Published in: on 11/08/2015 at 11:38  Leave a Comment  
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When faith falters

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Just as the Christian has his moments when the clamour of this visible and audible world is so persistent and the whisper of the spiritual world so faint that faith and reason can hardly stick to their guns, as I well remember, the atheist too has his moments of shuddering misgiving, of an all but irresistible suspicion that old tales may after all be true, that something or someone from outside may at any moment break into his neat, explicable, mechanical universe.

Believe in God and you will have
to face hours when it seems obvious
that this material world is the only reality:
disbelieve in Him and you must face hours
when this material world seems to shout  
at you that it is not all.

No conviction, religious or irreligious will, of itself, end once and for all this fifth-coumnist [internal subversive agent] in the soul. Only the practice of Faith resulting in the habit of Faith will gradually do that.

–C. S. Lewis
Christian Reflections

Joyful uncertainty

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We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises.

When we become simply a promoter
or a defender of a particular belief,
something within us dies.

That is not believing God — it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3 ). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled.

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. . . when we have the right
relationship with God,
life is full of spontaneous,
joyful uncertainty
and expectancy.

Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1 ), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in— but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

–Oswald Chambers
My Utmost For His Highest
(emphasis added)

Trusting the Guide

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Faith means striking out,
with no clear end in sight and perhaps 
even no clear view of the next step.
It means following, trusting,
holding out a hand to
an invisible Guide.

–Philip Yancey

Published in: on 01/27/2013 at 4:59  Leave a Comment  
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A journey of unknowables

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If knowing answers to life’s questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables—of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair.

–Madame Jeanne Guyon (1648-1717)

Gracious uncertainty

The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty… Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life— gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God — it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3 ). The spiritual life is the life of a child.

We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next.

If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1 ), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in— but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.

–Oswald Chambers

Published in: on 08/21/2010 at 17:15  Leave a Comment  
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