God is committed to a freedom too wonderful to accept without serious contemplation and thought. Such freedom does not decrease but increases faith. It’s about embracing the deeper ethics of our faith and thinking rightly about God and our own purpose in life.
We tend to envision God as acting to solve all our problems, as an omnipotent being who will support us in meeting our every need. Poor God, He likewise needs us in times like these. He needs us to be faithful witnesses who support His character of love and justice in the world.
My faith is not in a God who will solve all my problems or save me to an afterlife while condemning unbelievers for eternity. I have faith in something else.
“Do no harm. Do all the good you can. Stay in love with God.” — John Wesley
What obstacles, public shaming, and longtime assumptions are we willing to overcome—as did the courageous woman in this story—to touch Jesus and be in His healing presence?
The common theories and methods for describing the process of justification had become a puzzle for me. I was not a terrified sinner plagued by guilt and seeking justification before a cosmic judge.
The story of Jephthah tells me that it is good to break from the static structures of expressing faith, to break through the rigidity of religion into new and better understandings of God.
So, where do we stand in our wrestling matches with God? How has God been wrestling with you? Do you feel powerless and alone, enduring a dark night? Are you struggling to face your doubts, fears, and sins? Do you wonder if God stands against you as you stare into eternity? Life is not easy. It’s a struggle, and we may long wrestle—but not for God’s embrace.
Grand words such as “righteousness” and “justification” can sound old-fashioned and judicially governed. Should we be surprised that people today need a simpler explanation and desire integrity and justice as social virtues?