Making faith public means putting it all out there. Means that soon as we get something wrong, it’s not just us taking a whapping, but Him as well. Whereas when we keep our faith private, we can always say that things have changed; that we don’t believe it any more.
I’m always deeply gladdened when I hear someone say: “I’ve always believed”. That’s what I want to hear. Tell me about your faith. Don’t tell me about your doubts. All of us have enough doubts of our own. Doubts will not get me through another day. My sister said the other day: “It’s always been Jesus. It’s only been Him.” My spirit leapt.
By faith we believe that the universe was made at God’s command. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Through faith we have been saved. It’s all in the good book.
And it’s also in the good book that we have to speak it out with our mouth. Confess with your mouth, and believe in your heart, and you will be saved. Not just to the sympathetic; also to the mockers. Blessed are the persecuted. If you are ashamed of the Son of God, He says that he will be ashamed of you in the presence of His holy angels.
You never quite know what people will do when you say you are a Christian. Some will hold it against you. Some might use it as a rod to beat you with. But there are crowns waiting up in glory for that – rejoice and be glad about that!
And what about being among the faithful? That’s another way of being public with your faith. What do you get out of that? We need to be with others who believe, full stop. No one of us is more special than another. Jesus stopped for the one, and we need to stop for each other. We miss out on each other if we don’t meet up. We miss out on the ongoing stories of what the Father is doing.
This morning one of our church shared on going over stepping stones over a river. It’s a bit of a gamble transferring your weight onto a stepping stone. It might wobble; it might also be underwater. We run the risk of sliding or mis-stepping. But once you start across a river, you’ve got to go to the other side. No point going back. And in order to see something happen (this was the other thing the brother shared) we have to push. Just like a pregnant woman has to push to see the birth.
For me, I feel that right now I’m in the middle of a river. I’ve got to keep going over. Also, something is coming to birth. It’s about faith going public: it’s about holiness and being purified. It’s also all, only and always, just about Jesus. He’s the champion. He’s the deliverer. He stepped onto this creaking old Earth to make all things new. And I remain convinced that without Him we will still know the bruising, but not the blessing. The wounding, but not the healing.
If you haven’t taken a public step, perhaps you need to take one today.