Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Faith vs. Amazement

Last Sunday, Paul David Tripp preached a sermon on Faith vs. Amazement. Download it and listen now, not later. It's one of those amazing sermons that will mean something to you to matter who you are or what you're doing.

I'm sure I'll talk more about the sermon, because I've been thinking about it every day since I first heard it. The premise is this: when you see God's hand in your life, does it lead to amazement or faith? I thought I had faith, but my actions say otherwise: I've been living in amazement and not in faith. Amazement is good, mind you. But it's not enough. Awe of God must lead to a deep trust in Him! Indeed,
"Where your treasure is, your heart will be as well... No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate one and love the other, or you will love one and despise the other." Matthew 6:21
Where do I spend my time? Working toward my own goals without considering God's providence? Then this morning I read this verse:
"Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Do I live with the assurance of faith, or do I toil in vain toward my goals and my priorities? Do I have a "back up plan" for God? I struggle with the saying, "God will provide" because I doubt that God wants to see us waste opportunities and sit around feeling entitled to provision. But then I read Matthew 6:28-34:
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin, yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, will he not much more clothe you— you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?' or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness... Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
 What do I do with that?!


I won't say a lot about this for confidentiality purposes, but one of my students is so anxious and so worried about how every step and decision will play out in the scheme of her life. I find myself thinking, Stop obsessing! No matter how hard you try to make all the puzzle pieces fit, God will still take your plans and mold them how he sees fit! And then I realized THAT WAS ME about 6 months ago. I mean, I'm still a little obsessive (and I see now that it gets really old really fast) but those iron-clad plans, that flat-out panic that one little slip could throw everything off... ouch.

In hindsight, a lot of my plans not working out this past summer has already been a show of mercy. If nothing else goes "my" way for the rest of my life, I will still know that I have already been blessed beyond anything I deserve.

In my heart, I know that my plans are now held with a much looser fist. In fact, I think it's safe to say I'm currently balancing them in an open hand. Grad school? Travel? Career change? I can browse job pages all I want, but I'm not going to find the perfect job. There is no perfect time to have kids. There is no way to know if/when I will use my MSN degree. But today, I'm staying where I am until God tells me to move, and I'm at peace with that. In the meantime, I can continue to pray beg God for direction and guidance!


  1. OH MY GOSH! This is Sarah from the Influence Conference . . . do you go to Redeemer??? So do I! Saw this Paul Tripp reference and just had to ask. I hope the answer is yes!

    1. I surely do! And how amazing was Paul Tripp's sermon?