• Edwin Lin

PHF Week 4: Faith is Power

There is something about faith that is always tied to power. I couldn't pick any one passage this time for the question of faith, because there are so many different passages everywhere about faith. Just to be clear, by faith, I mean believing in what cannot be seen, or a deep trusting of God that goes beyond simple belief.

Many passages about faith are about Jesus performing miracles, or people encountering God's power because they had faith. In the rest of the New Testament, faith is often talked about to encourage people to have faith and that through their faith, they will be strengthened in the face of suffering and persecution. I think both instances, faith seems to be a conduit to power.

In the first instance, faith in Jesus brings about God's power to reality. In the second instance, faith in God gives people the power to sustain or to overcome their difficult circumstances. So what does this faith and power have to do with Money?

Well, the World thinks that Money is power. That's pretty much the way the World system works. It runs on Money and translate all that is associated with Money into power. Power to command others, to have more freedoms, to do what you want... just generally having more and more ability to act. You can do more with Money and therefore have more power.

But God's system is totally different. He encourages us to have faith--to focus on the unseen world, to trust God deeply in every part of our lives. Through this faith, God shows us His power. It is a different kind of power. It is a power that heals, loves, mends. It is a power that sustains, protects, and gives life. It is a power that changes and moves. It is a power that can do things that no human power can do.

God's power is more powerful than Money's power, but it does depend on the frame of reference that you are understanding power from. God's power is more powerful when you see the unseen world--when you understand and see things from the perspective of eternity, it becomes utterly clear that God's power is way more powerful than anything on earth. But if you think of power from a worldly sense--that power is about physically doing more and having more visible influence--then you might miss out on something truly supernatural and breathtaking. You might miss out on God's display of power.

As I heard today that I did not get a job that I applied for (again), I feel in some ways discouraged and encouraged to feel anxious and a slight panic. That maybe I am unemployable and that maybe I will never find a job. I feel a little disappointed that I have to keep searching, but honestly, I'm not so much disappointed about the job itself--it was a temporary position at UCSC and one that, after the interview process, I honestly wasn't sure would be all that communal and may not have provided many opportunities for ministry and relationships. But instead, my instant feeling of anxiety and fear comes from a lack of faith.

I can feel God reminding me that He has my best interests at heart, and the He will place me in a workplace when the time is right and when the opening is available. I also feel God telling me to have faith. That I need to trust deeply in God because God's power will move in ways that are way beyond my own--God's power will move in the unseen realm and if I focus on it, and have faith, maybe I will be blessed enough to catch a glimpse of God's amazing power.

When we look for jobs, we tend to feel powerless. We tend to feel like we're at the mercy of the interviewers, the employers, and those who judge us. We are small beggars asking for a spot at the table. But God sees it differently, and faith allows us to see it the way God does. We're not the weak ones--well, we are, but God is not and He is for us. God is powerful and He is on our team, working on our behalf. I don't know if that means that God will give us the best job available, but I do know that God has good in store for us, whether we're unemployed or working for a 6-digit salary, it doesn't matter. See, that is the way of sight--the way of the world and of Money--the way that our flesh wants to measure success and failure... and power. But God does not operate that way. His power is going to show up in different ways... maybe some of those ways are in and through love...

I know I will be writing about love last, but it seems to me that one of the most powerful ways that God has moved, changed the world, etc. has been through His love. Christ, certainly, and His death is one shining example of that (and probably the biggest and most powerful example of God's love, as truly Christ changed everything and transformed the world spiritually and physically). I am sure in other ways, God's love is the vehicle in which His power reigns and moves and does unseen miracles. I wonder if that is what strengthens us and changes our lives--God's love and power through our faith in God. It's not that our faith conjures up love and power that wasn't there before, but rather that our faith allows us to see clearly God's love and power so that we may be blessed by who and what God is already doing.

Lord, help me see your power and love as I continue to explore and apply to jobs (and am forced in some ways to engage in enemy Money territory).