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God Still Uses the Force of Faith

Faith is an overwhelmingly powerful force. But it isn’t a force like the kind that Luke Skywalker wields. It isn’t a force that allows you to invisibly summon a physical weapon from across a room, or to choke your earthly enemies. And it isn’t a force like the one described by some Christians which supposedly brings you money, or healing, or influence, or any other potentially selfish or materially gainful reward.

Instead it is a force that springs from deep within each of us, like a programming code, that commands, and structures, and points our behavior. It always produces behavioral results. If you believe that a reward is worth the risk, you will behave against the risk. If you believe that stealing in a riot is acceptable, then you will steal in a riot. If you believe that giving your life for your country, your family, or your faith is right and best, then you will sacrifice in many ways. And if you believe that God really is in control, and that he really has a point for your life, and if you really believe that he works all things for your good (Romans 8:28-29), then your anxieties will disperse like your breath on a cold morning. In fact, those anxieties cannot resist the force of faith. People who believe that roller coasters are safe gladly enjoy them. People who don’t, shirk at the thought of them.

This is the point that Paul makes obliquely about God’s power in our lives. He argues that God gives peace in uncertain times. Consider his position in Philippians 4:4-7. In that letter, he charges his brothers and sisters at Philippi to rejoice always . He doesn’t tell them to rejoice in obvious moments of celebration. He tells them to rejoice in all moments. He then tells them not to be anxious, but instead to let their requests be made known to God in prayer, and to offer thanks. This, he says, creates a supernatural peace that will guard their hearts and minds. Paul’s point is that what you believe about God and his goodwill for you mitigates against fear, anxiety, worry, and uncertainty.

So feed your faith by recognizing what God has done, and thanking him for it. Then allow that overwhelming force of faith to steel you for good works and forward motion through uncertain times.

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