To answer the most basic of questions, “why do I believe?” is pretty easy for me. I received undeniable revelation that God exists and my religion is living out that reality the best I know how. I could persuasively argue from a social, scientific, philosophical or even a historical perspective about different rationales that support my faith that God exists. However, in the end I think, the fundamental element in everyone’s conversion is a revelation of God given by the Holy Spirit, not a persuasive argument or a pretty building.
The second question regarding how faith offers support is harder to answer. I don’t want my answer to appear a thoughtless trust of the most valued part of my life to religious notions and empty traditions. In the same manner, I want to guard against sounding too heavenly minded or overly spiritualized. These difficulties communicating how faith offers support is only the tip of a difficult iceberg because the introspection itself can lead to some revelations of our character, which if we are honest, is where we might need the most help.
Can anyone argue we don’t live in difficult times that have many people crying for help? The economy has been hard. The shift of morals and values has made it difficult to maintain purity. Wars are taking the best of our future. People are without work and people who have work are working harder for less. The environment might be on the brink of disaster. In sum, it has become overwhelming to consider every aspect of our world at one time. Maybe that’s why the title of Leslie Bricusse’s and Anthony Newley’s play “Stop the World I Want to Get Off” resonates with our inner thoughts of escape from a world that persistently presses against our values and priorities.
In this sense faith is a crutch; but not a “one size fits all” crutch prescribed to the injured. Our faith is precisely designed to support our highest values and help us traverse through the myriad of life’s snags and snares and pains and sorrows. Yours is solely designed for you and mine for me. It uniquely supports our brokenness yet allows healing, strengthening and growth as we press toward the upward call of Christ. On this note, King David had it right when he said “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Ps 103:1-5, NKJV). By consciously whispering my faith’s values and priorities to my soul, I strengthen my faith and in turn, my faith will continue to grow and to support the ever increasing distress I find in the world. Bless the Lord, oh my soul, bless the lord.