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Delusions

A delusion is an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted. Whether by error, fantasy or an illusion, delusions occur when individuals refuse to believe the facts. As others push back with reason, defense mechanisms kick in. The stubborn often deny reality, opting to participate in arguments and debates, seeking to win others over to their side.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is mere delusion [futile, fruitless], and you are still in your sins [under the control and penalty of sin]; 18 And further, those who have died in [spiritual fellowship and union with] Christ have perished (are lost)! – 1 Corinthians 15:17-18

When it comes to faith, believing and trusting in an invisible God in considered a delusion by many today. In the series Joan of Arcadia, Amber Tamblyn plays a high school sophomore who experiences a series of encounters with God. Afraid to tell any of her friends, Joan keeps this relationship secret. When Joan contracts a severe case of Lyme Disease at the end of Season 1, her doctors suggest that her unusual behavior were hallucinations. This crisis of faith makes Joan think God was a delusion.

If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hope only in this life and that is all, then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied. 20 But the fact is that Christ (the Messiah) has been raised from the dead, and He became the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. 21 For since [it was] through a man that death [came into the world, it is] also through a Man that the resurrection of the dead [has come], 1 Corinthians 15:19-21.

When things go your way, it’s easy to believe. However, when your life begins to fall apart, trusting God in the dark becomes a challenge. In your moments of weakness, the father of lies, John 8:44, will plant doubt within your mind. If you allow these thoughts to linger, ungodly beliefs will conceive. When you don’t take your thoughts captive, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, the Devil can persuade some to believe God is merely a delusion. Don’t fall for this trap as Satan is afraid the same resurrection power that raised Jesus will also transform your life. Learn to trust God in the dark.

by Jay Mankus

Floundering in the Faith

When a hooked fish is pulled out of the water, self defense mechanisms kick in.  This results in flapping, pulling and tugging trying to escape.  Sometimes Christian face similar uncomfortable environments.  Certain situations force individuals to either sink or swim with many end up floundering in their faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11:6.

Comfort zones are nice to have growing up, but eventually you need to leave this place of safety to experience the real world.  Attitudes might deter you, behaviors offend you and language may shock you.  Nonetheless, faith is a series of trials and errors, taking risks, failing and getting back up.  Sitting at home, afraid to fail is like a having a flawed faith.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him, James 1:12.

When you get over the hump, people can begin to take ownership of their faith.  Growing pains develops perseverance, providing opportunities to trust in the Lord and lean not on your understanding.  Unfortunately, its easy to revert back to the past, clinging to former desires of your heart.  This crisis of faith is what Jesus’ brother refers to in the passage above.  If you hold on just long enough, God blesses those who stand the test of time by holding fast to faith in Christ.  Stop floundering and start swimming in the Spirit today!

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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