Why Is Faith So Hard?

Why is faith so hard? Sure, there are mountaintop moments and golden summers where we feel God’s presence as real as anything. But more often than not, especially in the muck and madness of the world, God appears distant and faith seems a scandal. Both skeptic and saint have wondered how there can be both a good, all-powerful God in heaven and a world full of death and decay down below. And that is just the beginning of a landslide of questions which threaten to smother our faith and leave it for dead.

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Doubting Zechariah

Luke begins his Jesus story by introducing us to an old man and an old woman. Zechariah and Elizabeth were faithfully serving God despite many obstacles to faith: barrenness, foreign occupation, national crisis, and the silence of God. It had been hundreds of years since Israel had heard or seen directly from God. In Zechariah’s day there was no glory cloud leading the way or manna falling from heaven. The walls of enemy cities were not crumbling, nor were there armies fleeing at the sight of angels. And there were no prophets bringing a fresh word from God for the contemporary moment. The evidences for God were in the distant past and his promises of an abundant future were beginning to fade from memory.

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