Conditional Faith

What would you say is the time when our faith is perhaps challenged the most? Is it when we are going through very very hard and trying times, or is it when everything is going well?

There is much to be said in either case. It makes us question what faith actually is. We cannot go through life with a conditional faith, where either consciously or subconsciously we say to God “I will believe if…” We cannot go through life where our faith is like a barometer of our experiences, i.e. we are strong in the faith when things are going well, but begin to wobble at the first sign of difficulty.

But neither can we go through life where we think we only need faith in the bad times and we can set our faith to one side when everything is going as we would like it. We can be very fickle about these things…I know I have been at times.

God is present and with us through the good times and the bad times. We so need to practice an awareness of his presence. That can be hard in the times we are hard pressed on every side. As we approach the cross, I invite you to read 2 Corinthians 4:8-12. May we have the grace and wisdom to allow it to speak into our prayers and that is Jesus is revealed more fully to us, our faith may be constant and true.

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Love, actually

They say that a picture paints a thousand words. But you know what? Even one word can set people free. Dare to be a dreamer for God’s Kingdom, and dare to release the poet inside.

Nick Baines's Blog

This is the text of this morning’s Pause for Thought on the Chris Evans Show on BBC Radio 2 in the presence of actors Emma Thompson, Celia Imrie, Paul McGann, Sean Pertwee and musician Billy Ocean.

I’ve just been on holiday for a week of culture-free sitting in the sun and reading. It was brilliant. I packed a pile of novels, but in the end spent several days reading a history book called ‘Sleepwalkers’ – about the origins of the First World War.

Now, I can’t read this sort of stuff without being haunted in my imagination by the words of the World War One poets such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon as they shaped horror with sounds of beauty. Someone once sang, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going,” but in the trenches it seems that when the going got tough, the tough wrote poetry.

It…

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