My mother-in-law lives with us. She is troubled by what the doctor’s term, dementia. This often crushes her ability to walk in faith. Personal fears and anxieties accumulate beyond her sense of reason. Though we talk of God, and of the power of Jesus to sustain us through our trials; though she is saved and holds fast to God’s unchanging hand, there are times when her love for Him is a love that has no faith. Sometimes she reaches an end to the hope of a miracle. Imagine a never ending trial. Perhaps you can recognize her battle.
We all get confused at times. There are moments, perhaps even minutes, hours, or days that feel as though God has left us empty handed. Our love is strong. God remains our eternal God. But our faith in his promises staggers. As with my mother-in-law, we may even decide that he has let us down, and that the darkness of the road has already gained victory over the promises.
The answers we want are not to be seen. The evidence of past victories seems to have vanished from our memories. There seems no end to hurt, fear, and suffering. Worry and doubt overwhelm our hope. We cry, and we weep, and we live in sadness. The groans are too great for human speech to fully express. The love of God is in us, but there exist no longer a hope in miracles.
That one can love God yet have no faith may seem to you impossible, even unbiblical. More questionable still may be the belief that the plans of God will proceed with or without your faith. Follow then, this brief glimpse into a time when they found a miracle, indeed the greatest miracle of all, through there was within them only a love that had lost its faith. Thought recorded more than once, here is the account as given in the book of Luke:
“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words,” (Luke 24:1-8).
Can you see the depth of their love for the fallen Savior? Yes, to them he was fallen, dead, overcome by the world and wicked men, and buried as is a finished and fruitless dream. They knew his promises. They had seen many of his miraculous works. They had within their heart an undying love for his person, yet there was inside them no faith in his promise of rising again.
They came to him in the morning, spirit and soul heavy with grief. They came to the tomb of a dead man, and they came without expectations of a miracle. See how confused they are when they discover a stone removed and a tomb empty of his body. “Perplexed,” is the word of scripture; and “afraid”. What a sad moment it is when Christians stand empty of faith.
Yet there are times when love alone keeps us from falling. There are times when his invisible hand makes love our only source of endurance. Yea, there are times when we have already surrendered to defeat of the mind, and of the spirit, and to the hope that is our eternal promise. Yet love sustains; and it is sufficient.
See how that even in the weakness of a loss faith our God is yet faithful to his word. All whom he loves shall love him, for he has placed within us a new heart:
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people,” (Jeremiah 31:33).
The promise is to Israel yet it encompasses any who are called before the Lord as the circumcised in heart.
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?” said the angels. “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
When our faith is gone, and all hope has passed away, the love of God within us will sustain us. The miracle came in spite of their weakness, their unbelief, and their trembling hearts. And after it came, “…they remembered his words.”
Perhaps one of God’s greatest works is when his people find a miracle through a love that is without faith. Trust him. He is faithful. Our weaknesses will not undo his goodness in our lives. If you can believe, then do so. If you can hope, then cling to it. But if all that remains is love, fear not for the eyes of God remain yet upon you.