It’s hard and easy to have faith when life is hard and easy

Faith in Christ isn’t easy for human beings. We can’t win. When times are good, our trust in Christ can fall away, for, after all, who needs it? When times are bad, we can rage at Christ. Our faith is numbed under the sharp pang or the dull ache of our pain.

But then again, faith in Christ is not so hard for human beings. When things are easy for us, faith is easy, because all it takes is that word of thanks to the One who has been so good. When things are hard, faith is easy, because there is nowhere else we can go to find any solution, but into his arms.

Faith is both natural to us (because we trust someone or something practically every moment of the day), and unnatural to us (because trust is broken or disappointed so often, and we can grow cynical and hard and withdrawn). The gospel of God’s love tells us that salvation is easy and hard: it is there for the taking (“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden”—Matt 11:28); and yet it is impossible to acquire on our own (“With man it is impossible”—Mark 10:27). Faith is easy and hard: to be saved, all we have to do is trust Christ, but, at the same time, this can only happen if God opens our eyes and quickens our hearts. Faith is ours, and yet faith is a gift.

And faith isn’t even a ‘thing’. It is not a quality, or an attribute, or a characteristic, or an activity. It is an open hand. It is the grateful sense that something has been given. It is the heart that turns to the Giver in wonder at what has just been given. It is the cry of thanks when life is easy. It is the cry for help when things are hard.

It is that hard. It is that easy.

When life is hard—when life is easy—the Saviour’s words remain the same: “Do not fear, only believe” (Mark 5:36).

But then faith is hard, and faith is easy—just as it was for the father who had anxiously watched his son being almost destroyed, constantly, from the day his son was born: “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).

Comments are closed.