Pastor's Message 

 

 

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” Hebrews 11:6

The Water’s Fine

What do you picture when you hear the word faith?
 
One of my mental pictures of faith in action is the two-year-old boy shivering by the side of a swimming pool, looking eagerly at his dad in the water. His dad is calling to him from only about two inches away, “Go ahead, jump! I’ll catch you.” In that moment the little guy faces a major crisis of faith. Can he trust that his dad is powerful enough to catch him if he jumps in? And does he trust that his dad’s character is good—that he will keep his promise to catch him? After a moment of contemplation, the little believer acts on his faith, jumping into his dad’s arms! Giggling, he’s ready to climb back out and do it again . . . and again . . . and again!

That’s what faith is. It’s putting your belief and trust in something or somebody outside of yourself, and then acting on that belief. Think about Abraham, venturing from his home to the unfamiliar, trusting a promise that wouldn’t materialize for decades. How about that same patriarch, placing his beloved son, Isaac, on the altar, trusting that somehow God would either provide an alternate sacrifice or raise his son from the dead? Or think about Moses, choosing to leave behind the pleasures and power of the pharaoh’s palace to shepherd a group of grumblers out of slavery into the Promised Land. The writer of Hebrews recounts these and many other examples of trust in this “Hall of Faith” chapter.
 
Of course, acting on faith isn’t always easy. It calls us to step away from what is comfortable and safe and, like a two-year-old at the edge of a vast swimming pool, look into unknown and unfamiliar circumstances. Maybe it’s a challenge to surrender our finances to God’s control, a career change, assuming the best about someone instead of listening to gossip, or waiting patiently on the Lord. It may be forgiving an offender or risking something for the sake of integrity or purity. Whatever the case, when God nudges our heart beyond what we can manage and manipulate on our own, we have an opportunity to act on the faith that we profess to believe.

The questions we face are as simple as the question in the boy’s little heart when he’s at the edge of the pool. Can we trust that our Father is powerful enough? And do we trust that He is good? The answer to both questions, if we understand and believe the teaching of God’s Word, is a resounding “Yes!”

I don’t know what “pool” you are standing next to today. But I do know the character of the Father who is calling you to act on your faith in Him. I invite you to the pleasure of trusting Him today.

Come on in! The water’s fine!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, help me trust you to catch me when I jump in by faith.  You are strong enough and loving enough to catch me.  And with you the “water” is fine.  Amen



 

After attending the University of Washington,  John Eich received his B.A. from Northwestern College in Watertown, WI.  He then attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wi. receiving his Masters in Divinity.   He was assigned to Grace Lutheran Church in Alma, MI in 1985.  He also served Zion Lutheran in neighboring St. Louis, Mi. until both churches merged to become Good Shepherd Lutheran.  

He serves on various district and synodical boards.  He frequently writes for the synodical magazine "Forward in Christ."  He has also been involved in the translation and review of the Evangelical Heritage Version of the Bible, a new translation of the Bible which is being prepared.

In 1983 he married Susan Ann Wendt who has been his best friend and help mate since.  Together they raised three boys who are now living their faith in Jesus away from mom and dad.