Word of the Month

Strengthening our Faith

November 2000

Strengthening our Faith In our days, the time before the promised return of Christ, unbelief is spreading, superstition is frequently supplanting the good tidings of Christ, temptations are becoming more menacing and doubt is growing. It was not without justification that the Lord Jesus asked the question, in looking towards this development: "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (cf. Luke 18:8) That is why it is especially important, that our faith is always strengthened, again and again. Day after day, on the way to the goal, we need substance and the strength of faith.

Already at the beginning of the history of mankind, faith was challenged. The first sin was caused by doubt in God's word. Adam and Eve allowed themselves to be persuaded by the serpent: "Yea, hath God said..." (cf. Genesis 3:1) and then doubt gnawed at them until they broke God's commandment. These same tactics are employed by the devil today: here a little anger, there a little suspicion, and soon insecurity and doubt grow. Therefore our faith must always be strengthened anew!

A chain reaction resulted from the first instance of doubt. God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, and in the sweat of his face, mankind must eat his bread ever since, and bear children in sorrow. When Cain noticed that Abel, in his offering, was looked upon graciously by God, but his own offering was not, he became jealous. He killed his brother. For this first time, death, the wages of sin, came into being. A further sin, the lie, flowed out of jealously and murder. For Cain answered God when he asked for Abel: "I know not; Am I my brother's keeper?" (cf. Genesis 4:9).

Let us never underestimate the danger of doubt! Let us vanquish doubt with our strong, living faith. When doubt begins to gnaw, then we resist its beginnings and assimilate God's word more intensively. The strength to withstand these temptations grows out of this. Let us utilize the divine services as the most valuable offer in order to strengthen our faith, to find forgiveness of sins and to have fellowship with the Lord in the Holy Communion.

With heartfelt greetings,<br/> Yours,

Richard Fehr