The Challenge of Faith

The Challenge of Faith
    In my Church we believe that faith is a gift from God.  We believe that we cannot have faith without God’s help—given through the Holy Spirit.  And salvation itself cannot be earned by any actions we take—it comes only as a gift through faith.
    But I know also that faith is a challenge.  I experience that myself when I see the violence of the world up-close in people’s lives.  I see it also in the lives of others, particularly those devastated by loss of a loved one, by a bad prognosis for their health, in lives tarnished with addictions and abuse or mental illness, for those who struggle to have basic needs met—housing, food, healthcare, security—that I can take for granted.  How can we believe and trust in a God who allows horrible things to happen to us or those we love?
    Sometimes I don’t have an answer for those who struggle with such questions—at least not an answer they can hear in their pain.  
Yet I know there is an answer to this challenge.  And that answer is you and me, the Church.  When someone struggles to believe, we walk alongside them in faith.  When someone is hurting, we help as best we can to relieve the pain but we also assure him or her that we will not abandon them.  When people give up on God’s justice and love for them, we can be that justice and love that they can cling to.
It is not always easy to be the faith-bearers to those who need it but, with the Spirit’s help, let us step up to this challenge of faith.

Pastor Brian Wasmoen
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Redfield