by Heather Tietz
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.
The religions of the world require actions: pilgrimages, religious education, purity. A peaceful afterlife is contingent upon one’s own success at living right.
But not Christianity. It stands alone as the only religion that requires not good works to open the doors of Heaven, but simply faith. That is God’s gift to us. We can’t labor to impress Him. Our efforts at righteousness won’t earn us favor. He only asks that we believe and if we really believe then we can’t help but trust Him, fear Him, and love Him. He wants our faith. He wants our heartfelt, “Not my will, but Yours, God.” Our invisible trust then will naturally manifest itself in actions. Talking, working, playing, just living comes out differently when faith is there.
It is a bit like wind. Faith is invisible in and of itself. But, like wind, set a giant turbine in front of it, and you can see that it’s there. Wind’s invisible fingers drive those blades around and around, powering factories and homes, giving life to lifeless things.
Put a problem in front of faith, put joy in front of it, put grief there and the same is true. You can see faith’s fingers working through it, driving one to their knees, giving peace beyond understanding, inspiring words, prompting feet to move. Invisible faith in Jesus empowers Christian lives. It lights up the world.