Chapter 6: Beyond the Castle Walls

Faith is trust and action based on belief in the benevolent desires and grace of God for our welfare and well-being. "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen ..." Hebrews 11:6: "Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

As we journey in this life there are those events and circumstances that create the apparent and obvious need in our hearts for protection and security. This is common to all men, it is life. Life comes with pains and ambiguity and because of those two factors we build for ourselves fortresses, castles, to protect our most valuable asset, our heart and mind. As discussed at the beginning of this book there are evidences of these castles in what we do and how we act. These castles are needed for survival and their importance in our lives is not without significance. Many come to Christianity because there is promise of relief and peace from the turmoil and disenfranchisement as a result of  the pain we all endure in life. We all desire to live pain-free lives seeking happiness and searching for joy in our lives, but life would not be life without some pain. It is perhaps a failing on the part of Christians and Christian teaching that many do not find the answers to their anxieties within the Christian culture. I believe that certain premises expounded in error over the years have brought disrepute upon the Church and subsequently have tainted many in their opinion of God. These opinions are formed by ignorance, an ignorance of the working of God and the knowledge and understanding of Who God is and what the workings of His love toward us ultimately mean. Before we can have faith we must understand in Whom and in what we believe. Pain, ambiguity, reason and anxiety are not the banes of our existence. They form the lifeblood and heartbeat for change and opportunity.

"When faced with anxiety we feel exposed, naked, and vulnerable. Hiding and covering up is typically how we respond when we feel those things.

God has not only created us, but he has created us as free beings, and in our freedom we are given possibility and choice. I would like for you for a moment to imagine God freely calling you toward his good purposes. And as you journey in that direction you may find yourself caught between the present and the future. That in-between place of present and future can create all kinds of anxiety because of the freedom of choices God has given us in our life. Perhaps we are anxious because the experiences of our past have shaped us in such a way that we are in dread of making a free and deliberate choice. Or perhaps just the mere possibility of making a wrong choice has left you feeling anxious

Anxiety is, therefore, both the cost and gift of our identity as free creatures in relationship to God. We have choices. Without freedom, and the anxiety it entails, we are just slaves—yearning for safety and security and grumbling at God rather than living the anxious journey through the wilderness toward freedom." Rhett Smith   Faith is the freedom to choose God and believe that in that choice all the goodness and grace of God exist. It is not guaranteed to be pain-free, it is guaranteed to fulfill God's purposes and in that lie the essence of not only our faith, but ultimately the trust in Whom we believe.   We are never in an ideal place where our decisions will be infallible. There are too many random, unforeseen and inexplicable circumstances that can unfold. The anxiety created is not the problem it is in understanding that in the world's complexity we have a God Who loves us, desires the best for us and has not nor will not withhold any of His abundant grace from us. We have a God Who is bigger than all our problems."

 "Little men with little minds and little imaginations go through life in little ruts, smugly resisting all the changes which would jar their little world "



Under The Eagle's Wing - Faith, Hope and Love; the Greatest of These

An Online Book based on 1 Corinthians 13:13