We have three foundations to belief in God: faith, hope and love. And although love is the greatest of these (I Corinthians 13), Peter exalts faith. Much like the challenge of loving an enemy, faith too must do battle, but with doubt.
I Peter 1:7a
So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] . . . [Amplified]
No one wants to go through trials and grief, but there is no question that difficulties make human stronger. Whether those situations give more experience or wisdom, they also build faith. This is nothing new.
Today, however, I pondered the idea of faith being precious though challenged. What would make faith so dear, so prized, so valuable that it must also “suffer slings and arrows?” At its root then, faith must be protected, or at the least, treated with great care.
I think about the absurdity of the treatments often used to fight cancer, chemicals that kill all fast growing cells and ultimately, a few others along the way. The body is threatened with death with each and every treatment. And yet, if the body can survive, can withstand the treatments, there is a chance for remission. Core cells are needed to sustain life: they are precious.
There are core cells to faith as well. It is the pulsing center of faith, the heart. Where is this heart? I don’t know. I think it’s different for each person, but I believe it’s the “Keep” of faith and must be revered.
I believe each person has a faith-planting moment. Perhaps it’s the point of accepting the Christ leadership or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or perhaps it was a miracle like healing or escape from danger. For me, it was the day I stepped into my apartment in New York and I had a “whoosh” feeling, dropped everything from my arms onto the floor and wandered around my apartment singing the only Christian song I knew: “Jesus Loves me, this I know” for about forty minutes, over and over again. I knew that I knew that God was real and I would follow and believe. My precious faith was born that day.