“The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” (Matthew 13:20-21)
Jesus makes it clear that to be strong in faith through the temptations to doubt God’s love means maturing in faith through the means that God gives. Joy is wonderful at the beginning of our faith but that surface joy must be rooted in our heart and the only way for that to happen is through serious time in the Word of God. Then when our faith is challenged through word or situation we remain strong and are enabled to walk through that dark valley. The life of faith is strewn with all kinds of obstacles. With a continuing relationship with the Lord we are enabled to navigate through that mine field of doubt and fear.
Faith in Jesus, the Christ, cannot be superficial. It must be real through the presence of the Holy Spirit continually bringing one to repentance and the renewal of one’s faith. It is the Grace of God that secures us in the faith. It is His work as we allow Him to reign in our lives. We must send our roots deep into the Word of God and draw from its strength – the Spirit of Truth and Life. It is there that we will find that peace and joy that passes all understanding in the situations of life.
Heavenly Father, the pressure on our lives and faith may tempt us to doubt Your love of us. We may stumble over these situations and we need the continual infusing of Your Spirit within us to keep us in the faith. Each day is a battle. Give us the courage to face down our enemies of doubt and fear, placing our trust in Your Son. In His name. Amen.
Pastor Robert Forsberg is retired from Light of Christ Lutheran Church in Fairborn.