When Faith Seems Like Folly

When Faith Seems Like Folly

Preacher Huijun - 12 December 2020

Weekend Devotion: When Faith Seems Like Folly

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I’m not sure if you sometimes feel that people of the world look upon the faith of Christians as a kind of folly. To non-Christians, we believers seem foolish to still trust God when things are evidently not going well for us, or when the situation is impossible to turn around, or when blessings are clearly out of sight, or when some of God’s word cannot be verified by science. Yet, the Bible is packed with examples of how God surprised the world with His wisdom which is inconceivable to the human mind.

 

People of faith in the Bible seemed foolish.

The most typical example is Israel’s attempt to conquer the city of Jericho. Instead of using military weapons or force, the Israelites marched around the city of Jericho for seven days, which eventually led to the collapse of the city wall and Jericho being captured. There was also Noah who built the ark for decades without sign of any flood coming. Then there was also Daniel who would rather be thrown into the lions’ den than to stop praying to his God. There were of course many other testimonies of faith which we read in <Hebrews 11>.

In the eyes of men, all these people of faith seem to be doing silly things; their faith seems to have made them foolish. What were they thinking? How could a battle be won by just quietly circling the city wall? Why risked getting killed by lions just because the believer cannot stop praying? Or why Christians today still go to church now when there is risk of COVID-19?

However, the Bible says: For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God… For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe… For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. <1 Co 1:18, 21, 25> Those who do not believe in God and the worth of the gospel will not understand why we must trust and obey God to the end. But those who truly believe in Christ will by their faith see God’s power and wisdom being manifested.

 

Still, how can we discern if we are really foolish or having faith?

Some people may ask, “Am I truly trusting God, or just being foolish?” Now, we must know that faith and wisdom are not opposites of, but related to, each other. We cannot simply have a blind faith, but neither should we depend too much on human wisdom till we cannot trust God innocently. Thus, we need to consider two questions:

 

1) Does our “wisdom” kill our trust in God?

Sometimes, when we depend too much on our own wisdom and analysis, or when we have too much knowledge, it may shake or reduce our faith in God. When man knows more, he may be even more afraid due to what he knows. For example, because a doctor has a lot of medical knowledge, when he knows a certain illness is very complicated or has little cure, he may worry more and have less faith in God to heal the person. Thus, those who knows more, or have higher intelligence need to watch against losing the simple faith in God. Of course, it does not mean that it is not good for man to have wisdom; human wisdom is also God’s gift to us. However, “(human) wisdom” cannot replace “faith”. If the people in the Bible all chose to respond to God based on human conventional wisdom, we will not see so many miracles in the Bible which are beyond what human wisdom can fathom.

 

2) Is our faith totally disconnected from wisdom?

We cannot act rashly in the name of “faith”. Some people just hold onto a fanatic faith and charge ahead aimlessly but without careful consideration. However, in all matters, we should test and approve what God’s perfect will is, by looking at what the Bible says, then hold onto God’s word to pray, and even seeking the views of spiritually mature brethren. After we confirm that it is the will of God, we then obey by faith. Such a grounded faith is what pleases God. God does not want us to merely have a blind faith without any discernment. Even when Jesus started His ministry on earth, before the time for Him to be crucified was up, He had the wisdom to remain low profile; after performing miracles, He gave people the instruction not to tell others. Jesus was of course full of faith, He was not afraid of offending the Jewish leaders, but He also had the wisdom not to arouse the hatred of the Jewish leaders too prematurely, for if they crucify Him too soon, then He would not have enough time to complete His mission on earth. Therefore, our faith must also be seasoned with wisdom, which comes from the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

 

Faith is spiritual wisdom.

Contained within faith is the wisdom of knowing the Lord. And spiritual wisdom is to know that eternal things are worth much more than temporal success and pleasures of this life; things of the spirit are more important than things of the flesh, God’s unchanging truth is realer than humans’ changing situations, feelings and words. And those with faith will live by such spiritual wisdom. When we have spiritual wisdom, even if others think we are foolish to trust God, even when God’s promises seem unlikely to come true, we will still obey God by faith. For the sake of Christ, we can even be prepared to be “a fool”. And when we can live by faith like this, God will surely amaze us with His faithful guidance and fulfilment, and prove how “the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom”. Thus, do not be shaken even when others laugh at our faith saying it is foolish, but let’s keep trusting our Lord!

Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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