The Strongest Faith

The weakest believer among us receives the same strong Christ as does the believer whose faith seems unmoved.

This is good news for all of us because it’s not the strength of our faith that gives us hope; it’s the strength of Jesus’s faith.

Let me explain:

One summer my family was invited to enjoy a day of waterskiing and lounging on the lake with some friends.

The lake was choppy and with each passing speedboat came a wake that caused a big thump and jolt of our boat, which subsequently elicited a scream from my then four-year-old son.

You see, he had very little faith in our safety as we hit those large bumps in the water. However, having grown up and spending my days on ski boats, I knew that we were perfectly safe.

I had complete faith that those wakes that were tossing us from side to side were merely bumps and that the boat was certainly strong enough to endure them. My calm demeanor showed my trust. I could relax.

My child, however, showed very little faith as he screamed with each wave and ripple.

We couldn’t have been more different: me, a grown woman with full assurance, knowing that we were safe, showing my confidence in the boat, free to enjoy the sun and spray splashing up on me; and him, my four-year-old, huddled on the floor trying to eat a granola bar, certain that it was his last meal.

My faith in the boat was unshakable while my son’s was just barely hanging by a thread.

And yet here we were, two souls on the same strong boat, heading toward the same destination.

Here’s the big question: Did the strength of our faith make any difference in the strength of the boat?

Of course not.

The boat’s strength was not affected by how much faith either of us had put in it on that particular day. It wasn’t weakened by my son’s doubt, nor was it strengthened by my confidence.

Just as the boat was immovable and never swaying in its ability to bring us safely home,  Christ remains our strength even when doubts fill our minds and our faith wavers. 

In fact, it’s Christ’s faith we stand on! It’s His strength that gets us through and not our own.

Christ’s life was one constant stream of unwavering faith.

Even though He had the power to abandon the mission at any moment, He continued on in humility and perfect faith to fulfill God’s redeeming plan. Knowing the pain that was to come, He pleaded with his Father to let the cup pass from His lips (Luke 22:42).

As the answer became clear—that the cup would not pass from Him, that He was to be beaten, mocked, and stricken with sorrow at the separation of perfect union with His Father—He remained faithful on our behalf.

This has become our record. This is now our strength.

Even in our moments of greatest weakness and doubt, Christ remains our strength, holding us up out of the water, confidently taking each blow from the waves with which life is unrelentingly battering us.

When everything around you is falling apart,

the job is lost,

the child rebels,

the spouse falls in love with someone else,

the friends who said they’d never leave walk away,

life has fallen apart at the seams,

and you just don’t know how to find hope.

All the while Christ is unmoved and you are perfectly safe. He will hold on to you to the very end.

Your strong faith—or, more appropriately, your lack thereof—is not connected to some cosmic feeding tube of God’s grace.

God does not dole out His love and faithfulness based on the strength of our trust.

The gospel assures you that He loves you and is holding on to you whether you are lounging about enjoying a time of confident faith or clinging to the bottom of the boat, waiting for the ride to be over.

His perfect faith  —

is counted as yours.

*These words can be found in my newest book, Beloved Mess. If you need hope and love in the midst of your mess then this book is for you.