Shipwrecked Faith

The days between the crucifixion and the resurrection, couldn’t have been happy days for the disciples. They were in mourning, with the memory of Jesus hanging on a cross, having been beaten, spat at, and stripped engrained in their minds.

I imagine they had loads of questions: Where are you Lord? Why have you gone? Were you really the son of God? They didn’t know the hope that was about to come. 

Easter Saturday, the ‘not yet’, ‘where are you’, ‘why’ day of the easter holiday, gives us permission to doubt, to question, to cry, to feel the weight of sacrifice, grief and loss before rejoicing in triumphant celebration. Maybe you’re going through a time in your life that feels hopeless, lonely, never-ending, it can feel like God isn’t there, that there is no way out.

There will be easter Saturday moments in all of our lives, when we’re mourning, confused or disappointed, we must make sure that we have a solid foundation in Jesus in place to withstand these times. It’s helpful to be self aware and ask questions of ourselves like: “Are there any circumstance that could shipwreck my faith?”

 If my parents didn’t become Christians, if I didn’t get married by…, if I couldn’t have kids, if I didn’t get that mark on my degree, if I didn’t get that job, if I got sick, if my friend died, if my pastor had a moral failure, if my friends left church

Thinking about these things doesn’t make them more or less likely to happen. But pondering them helps us to make sure we’re not making any secret vows with God…. “I’ll love you.. if, I’ll love you… as long as, I’ll love you… while”. Looking our weaknesses, doubts and fears dead in the eye helps us build a strong yet flexible faith. I find these reflections from the book More> Real so helpful: 

"Building a lasting faith that can survive the troubles of life is much like building structures that can survive earthquakes. New York structural engineer Mario Salvadori explains, ‘We design high-rises so that their structures will stand up . . . They are flexible enough to vibrate and sway, but not break up. If there are cracks, they are in things like partitions and windowpanes, not the basic frame. In the past it was thought that building rigid structures with no flexibility was the most effective method, but it was found that such structures often couldn’t survive natural disasters. As a result, skyscrapers and bridges are now being built with strong foundations as well as a healthy degree of flexibility. The same is true in building lasting faith that can survive the storms of life: there needs to be both a strong foundation and a healthy degree of flexibility...Strength with flexibility means that when hardship comes, it shakes you but doesn’t break you. When you experience unexpected suffering you mourn and cry out to God, but you know at your core that he’s still good. When someone challenges your beliefs and asks a difficult question, you’re not plunged into deep doubting and uncertainty because you have already wrestled with the tough questions – and you probably have plenty more that you’re trying to work out yourself."(More> Real, Jon Brown) 

Let's sit with our questions, insecurities and fears, letting Jesus speak truth and hope into them. Let's start doing the hard work of building strong and flexible faiths. So that when we go through challenges we are just shaken, not broken. 

You are not alone if you're mourning, questioning or feeling disappointed like the disciples. You are allowed to feel those emotions and work through them but the truth is that Jesus did rise. He is triumphant. He is good.

Hope is here forever, in everything, because of Jesus. 

I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8: 38-39)

Katherine O'Shea

Student Mission Developer

Katherine wants to see drama schools transformed by Jesus. She's lives in Sidcup and is the student worker at New Community Church.

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