He Loves Me!
This devotional is a series of excerpts from Wayne Jacobsen's life changing book, He Loves Me! Download a PDF of this book by clicking the link below.
Day 41: The Faith of Jesus
The heritage of the cross is a life lived in trust. It frees us from the bondage of sin that makes us feel less loved and drives us to compensate for that, to the certainty that we are loved by the God of the universe. This is the faith we are called to live by and it is not even our own.
Few versions of the Bible translate Galatians 2:20 exactly as it appears in the original Greek. Paul wrote: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
The vast majority translate it, "the life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God." They cannot conceive of what Paul might have meant by living by the faith of Jesus. So they translate it as "faith in the Son of God" since a number of other scriptures talk about the importance of putting our faith in him. But Paul is talking about something different here. There is no ambiguity in the original language about the distinction between where our faith might be directed and to whom it belongs. It is clearly the latter. In other words, Paul is saying he lives off of Jesus' faith, not by mustering up enough of his own.
What great encouragement that provides! How often do you feel weak in faith? Try as hard as you might to believe, belief still escapes you. How do you muster up what you already lack? While they may be right, it is rarely helpful when people tell us we just need to trust Jesus more. Of course that's true, but how do I trust him more than I already do?
The answer lies here. Paul saw his life ending when Christ's ended at the cross. He didn't even live by his own human faith after that. He let Jesus live in him. He let Jesus' trust in the Father stand for his.
My wife and I have done that as well. In the most severe trials of our journey, we have held each other in the storm; at times paralyzed by circumstances beyond our ability to endure. Sometimes with tear-stained faces we have simply prayed, "Jesus we choose to believe in the Father's love for us because you did. Give us your faith to stand right here and trust you."
It's amazing how that simple act works in us. It releases a power beyond our own abilities or intellect. Our eyes see a bit more clearly; our heart finds greater endurance. Answers we thought we needed no longer seem important. His presence and purpose alone prove sufficient in the storm. Eventually we come to recognize his hand doing something greater in our lives than we had hoped for at the time.