Faith, sometimes, can feel like you're flying blind. You can't see where you're going or what is ahead of you. All you know is where you've been. You can easily focus on your past mistakes because you know them so intimately. Getting stuck in feelings of regret can give you a sense of being grounded, but grounded won't get you anywhere. You are meant to fly. But flying blind is scary and fear holds you back. This is where having a faith that is intentional can change everything.
Faith is a choice,
and because it is a choice,
you can approach your faith intentionally.
Recently, I was listening to the radio and callers were asking, "How can I learn to be courageous?" The host gave his opinion rather sheepishly, "I think you either have it or you don't." I immediately wanted to call in and say, "That's not true. Everyone CAN have courage. Everyone has experienced it, but few master it. All it requires is faith."
Courage is faith under fire. It happens when you are faced with a difficult, challenging, even impossible decision and you step through your fears anyway. It's that moment in the last heart beat before stepping out of the airplane where you give your life over to faith. You hold dear to what you know about the parachute and you believe it will open, but you have no idea for certain that it will. When you reach the end of knowledge, faith is all there is. When people don't have faith, it's hard to be courageous. But people who have faith, the stronger their faith, the more courageous they are.
What you put your faith in matters as well. Faith is not the same as hope. Hope gives you confidence that something is possible. Faith is knowing that nothing is impossible. Faith is where miracles happen. Faith goes beyond confidence in self, beyond hoping in others, beyond all understanding, wisdom, or knowledge. Usually, people find their faith in that moment when they have exhausted all their resources, used all their skills, applied all their knowledge, failed, and have lost all hope. THEN, they drop to their knees and ask God for help.
Intentional faith works backwards from this. Start by asking God to help you as you enter into the difficulty. Believe God is there beside you as you walk into the flames, enter into a difficult conversation, or step out of the plane. It's letting go of needing to control the outcome. Intentional Faith is believing the outcome, whatever it is, will be the outcome that's meant to happen. Good or bad, fair of unjust, all decisions made in faith are hard. It's not courage that helps you step out of the plane. Courage is realizing, upon safely landing on the ground, and looking back at how much courage it took you to step out in faith.
6 So we are always of good courage.
We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight."
2 Corinthians 5:6-7