Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Faith: "A Necessary Virtue" in the Midst of our "Changing Moods"

"Now Faith...is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods."
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Do you have what C.S. Lewis calls "changing moods," where one day you doubt with every ounce of your being that God exists because, well, it just seems so improbable? You can't see Him. He doesn't always seem present. You don't get the response you want when you "pray without ceasing." It seems easier to not believe and just live life the way you want.

But then your mood shifts. God answers that prayer. You feel His presence once again. You get a pay raise and life is good. Suddenly you cannot imagine not believing in Him. How else can one explain the duckbill platypus?

If you're a living breathing human being, then, yes, you succumb to "changing moods." Your wavering moods rebel against your real self and make you second guess your reason for believing in and following Christ. And that is why, Lewis wrote, that "Faith is such a necessary virtue" (125). Without faith, we risk floundering between belief and unbelief depending on which side of the bed we wake up on. Our moods can control us if we don't control them, and that is where faith comes in.

Faith provides stability, security, and certainty, which are vital, especially on days when everything seems to go wrong. For if we, through our reasoning, have found that we believe in the basic tenets of Christianity, then no matter what mood we find ourselves in, we will hold firmly to our faith because we know with certainty that Christ and His kingdom will never pass away. Then, despite our fickle nature, "by faith [we will] stand firm" (I Corinthians 1:24). That certainty gets us through the dark and lonely times.

I know that for this stay-at-home mom of two small children, my moods are ever-changing. Many days it is only because of my faith that I don't throw in the towel. My faith in God's promises keeps me on track on days when the kids are inconsolable, the floors are caked with food, and there are no clean dishes and nary a diaper in the house. Faith keeps me truckin' on because I know there is something much greater, much more wonderful, in store.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
John 3:16

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