Last night's plenary session was an excellent message from Paul Tripp about faith. He argued persuasively from Scripture that, while the Christian faith is reasonable, it sometimes takes us beyond our ability to reason. In other words, faith trusts in God's revealed character even when His works take us beyond our ability to understand.
Some in our day have re-defined faith as some mystical energy we work up within ourselves by which we create reality with our powerful words. Others argue that faith is an unreasoned leap into the darkness. No.
The Bible uncovers the character, the commands and the promises of God. This is the basis of faith. But circumstances are often hard to reconcile with what we know about God. Faith is trusting what we know for sure even when circumstances scream that God cannot be trusted. Faith clings tightly to God's character in the face of the worst pressures anyone can face. Because God asked them to do it...
- Abraham could build an altar to sacrifice the son whom God said would be his heir.
- Daniel and his friends could obey God and stand against majority opinion and the possibility of execution.
- The promised Messiah could go to the cross.
As a shepherd/counselor my task is not only to set up encounters with the living God so people will trust Him even when life makes no sense, my task is to embrace those redemptive purposes myself.
Today before a closing session track four is studying Crisis Management for the Believer (Kevin Carson) and Building Godly Friendships (Amy Baker). The first session should provide fodder for my preparation to return to my friends in Haiti.
I anticipate pushing the limits of the traffic enforcement to get home to my bride and little people.