April's Book Review is the book entitled above by Marilyn Meberg. (Her name may be familiar to you from the Women of Faith Conferences.) Once again, it would be impossible to highlight all the great quotes from her book, but the following are some of my favorites. I hope they challenge you to look deep at your faith:
"Faith is believing what we can't see, what is not tangible, and in some cases, does not make sense."
"...I ask myself..., is this discouragement you're feeling due to shaky faith or faulty thinking? I have to remind myself that in order to have faith, I must move beyond mental acceptance. In faith I hold fast to something, or rather, to Someone, whom I cannot see. And that Someone is Jesus."
"I want to leave the battlefield and focus on the ultimate victory that always comes with siding with God. The battle isn't mine; it's God's and He has already won."
"The fact that we cannot see the evidence does not make our faith blind. Our faith is not in that which is observable. It is placed on God."
"We all get in trouble with our faith lives when we forget we ourselves are not the authors and finishers of our faith. We do not earn our salvation; we do not earn our faith. We must know Him, rely on Him.....believers must remember that apart from connecting us to Jesus, faith has no merit. Faith is the cable..the rod..the conduit. Faith is not our savior. It was not faith that loved us and died for us. It was not faith that took our sins upon the cross, died and rose again. It was Jesus. Faith connects us to Jesus."
"Do you believe God is in control of "all" things? Or do you draw a line somewhere and say there are a few things He is not in control of? If so, where do you draw the line?"
"That's what freedom is: I can choose good, or I can choose evil. Both opposites have to be present in order for a choice to be made."
About honest communication with God..."David, writer of Psalms, did not tiptoe around God out of fear that God would judge him, reject him, or hold his thoughts against him. David whined, fussed, and praised, depending on how he felt and what his circumstances were. He was secure in his relationship with God." (He already knows what we're feeling. But we tell Him what we're feeling for the good our our relationship with Him.)
"I believe many of us are afraid to cry out because we think to do so would alienate us from God. The result of that faulty thinking is that we don't go home, where honesty is rewarded and faith is increased."
"The person who struggles with major doubts about her beliefs also struggles with her behavior because the two don't mesh...These doubts affect not only our peace, but our actions....Doubt is sin if it translates into an action that rejects God....Doubt is not rejecting truth, it is questioning truth."
"It is common for people to throw up a few smoke screens to distract themselves from or cover up the real problem that is causing them to doubt. One of those root problems may be not wanting to lose personal control. Another smoke screen may be based on anger at God and what He has allowed to happen."
"If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget about the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables - of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair. Our challenge is to love Him for what we do see and trust Him for what we cannot see."
"There's an old Gaelic blessing that gives me a giggle:
May those who love us, love us.
And those that don't love us
May God turn their hearts;
And if He does not turn their hearts,
may He turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping."
"God always delivers us from our distresses just as He promised, but sometimes that deliverance is WITHIN our hears, where the pain of our circumstances has shredded our interior being. God meets us at the shredding place....His deliverance may be simply to give us comfort in that place. His deliverance may be lifting of our heads..our spirits...an assurance that He is there with us. His deliverance may be giving us the knowledge that we will have His strength to endure even though our circumstances may not change."
2 years ago