World events: This is not the time for frail faith

Posted: Friday, July 29, 2005

Scenes of suicide bombers murdering innocent bystanders and children are becoming regular fare on nightly television news roundups.

Reports of sinister plots dreamed up months or even years in advance by people bent on destroying all who stand in the way of their plans for world conquest keep slithering across the bottom of television screens.

The existence of secret cells in scores of nations awaiting some signal to rise up and destroy at some predetermined or secretly ordered signal adds to the trauma of these tense times. How do we cope with ever present danger?

We fight fear with faith. “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars,” said our Lord; then added: “See that you are not troubled”, Matthew 24:6.

Not one network newscast has ever taken God by surprise, so those who trust in him can start and end each day resting in his care.

V. Raymond Edman, former president and late chancellor of Wheaton (Illinois) College wrote: “Faith is dead to doubts, dumb to discouragements, blind to impossibilities, knows nothing but success. Faith lifts its hands up through the threatening clouds, lays hold of Him who has all power in heaven and on earth. Faith makes the uplook good, the outlook bright, the inlook favorable and the future glorious.”

Great faith is built on the conviction that God can do anything. Many say they believe this to be true but few act on their professed belief.

They accept omnipotence intellectually but their attitudes and anxieties reveal this profession makes little difference in their lives.

Consequently, problems loom large, burdens become too heavy to bear and the future is faced with fear. Faith rejects all imaginary impending disasters, counting on God to come through.

Strong faith also enables us to pray big prayers, expecting answers.

When a guest at churches, I am frequently surprised at how few prayers call for the defeat of worldwide terrorism, guidance for national leaders, the end of drug and alcohol bondage, a return to sexual morality, a fresh appreciation of the value of life, whether in the womb or nearing the tomb and greater compassion by those in the church for people in the community who never darken a church door.

Why this timidity in prayer? Do we think God isn't interested? Have we concluded some problems are too difficult for God to solve? Is our faith so weak that we despair of life changing answers? Are we afraid to ask and ask again.

In his book, “Getting Things From God,” another former Wheaton College head, Charles Blanchard, said: “In all of his dealings with men, there is not one instance in which He found fault with men for coming too frequently, for asking too largely.”

And Blanchard was simply restating a Biblical principle on puny praying: “You do not have because you do not ask”, James 4:2. This is no time for frail faith.

Let's pray big headline changing prayers. And expect answers.

Roger Campbell is an author, radio broadcaster and newspaper columnist from Waterford, Mich. He has written more than 20 books and has had articles published in most major Christian magazines.

He was a pastor for 22 years and has been a guest speaker in Alaska churches from Anchorage to Homer.

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