The media are missing the biggest and saddest story of all time and it's
right under their noses. An intuitive newspaper editor shouldn't hesitate
to print this headline on tomorrow's front page:
"AMERICA SUFFERS TERRIBLE FAMINE"
No, not famine of food and water, but a horrible, shriveling, killing
famine of faith in the Word of God. The prophet Amos wrote the headline
thousands of years ago: "Behold, the days will come, says the Lord God,
when I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst
for water, but of hearing the words of the Lordů" (Amos 8:11). Meant for
Israel, yes, but it is not the only nation that is hard-of-hearing. In
every country, too few are hearing God's words. The Bible could be
subtitled The Book of Faith, but it takes a believer to activate that
faith, to hear and to act.
There was a self-service elevator with a sign on the control panel
pointing to the eighth floor button that read: "The eight floor button is
out of order." Some wag had written beneath it: "Instead, push numbers 3
There is no substitute for certain things. The third and fifth floors do
not substitute for the eighth floor. And there is no substitute for faith.
We are reminded in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to
please God. He who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a
rewarder of those who seek Him. There is no substitute for that. It is
the criterion that determines how we grow in our spiritual life.
We have natural faith. Every time you mail a letter, you believe the
letter is going to reach its destination. There is no proof that it will.
You have a total confidence that when you let go of that letter and it
slips into the mailbox, it will go where you want it to go. There is a
letting go involved, and that's a kind of faith in itself.
Natural faith operates all the time. You put catsup on your food that you
have never had chemically analyzed. Yet, you assume that it is not full of
strychnine and you believe the ones who bottled it did not attempt to
poison the contents. The certitude is so great that it follows through
with action. When you walk across the street on a green light, you cross
in front of powerful cars with idling motors. You believe the motorists
won't run you down. You take an action of trust so great, you actually
place your life in the hands of others.
When you undergo surgery, how do you know the surgeon isn't simply going
to stab you? When you are under anesthesia, you are completely trusting in
the surgeon's skill. The difference between a stab and a surgical incision
is the difference between evil intentions and good ones. You presume he
intends good. That's a real act of faith.
When you enter an elevator, you have faith to believe the inspectors saw
to it that the cables were strong enough to hold you up. If you had a
doubt, you wouldn't' get in. You have enough faith in the architect of the
building you live in, to believe that the roof is strong enough not to cave
in. You act on that belief by putting yourself in a position that shows
you believe by living there.
Every time you get a haircut, how do you know you aren't going to get
scalped? You trust the barber. You trust the airline pilot to take you to
Houston, believing you won't end up in Chicago (or Cuba).
You never saw Abraham Lincoln but you trust historians who say that he
lived, and even celebrate a holiday in his memory. That belief expresses
itself in action. Our whole life functions on the basis of natural faith.
It would be impossible to go one hour without exercising natural faith.