Each and every one of us is given what feels like an impossible choice. Believe in and obey an all-knowing, omnipresent god. Or don’t. It feels impossible because it feels too big. The stakes are too high. Aren’t they? If God exists, choosing Him entails a lifetime of hardship and service, followed by an eternity in glory. All we need to get there is a) give our hearts and souls over to Jesus Christ, accepting that He is the only doorway to salvation, and b) die. Sounds simple, right? But many people don’t choose this option. They choose other religions or no religion. They say, “Well Jesus isn’t the way after all” and roll the dice.
So faith, quite honestly, comes down to choice. It comes down to our decision to gamble our souls on possible outcomes. What at first seems impossible becomes acceptable as we delve deeper into our faith. Now, I’m very much a person who believes in science. While I personally don’t believe we originated as monkeys, evolution exists. Organisms evolve- have been scientifically proven to do so- to not only survive, but thrive in their environments. Thems the facts. But faith comes down to believing in something not easily quantifiable. We cannot really prove or disprove God’s existence using the scientific method. However, we can take our personal experiences, the times we feel like He is working in our lives, and believe there is a living God.
So what do we do with that?
We trust God and put our gamble to work. It’s something called the Great Commission. In Mark 16:15 (CSB), Jesus commands “… Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” We do this with the understanding that we are guaranteed hardship. We are guaranteed adversity. We are guaranteed people who don’t want to hear the message. However, we are guaranteed to have God on our side through it all. See, the world is a dark place.
In John 12:46 (CSB), Jesus said, “I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me would not remain in darkness.” As a Christ-follower, one must absolutely believe that Jesus stepped down into our earthly plane to take on the mantle of sin without being sinful and allow us petty humans to crucify him on that ancient torture device we know as a cross. I am a Christ-follower. I believe in Jesus Christ, even when I’m angry at God. Even when I don’t want to be part of His plan and would really prefer Him to keep his mitts off my life. That’s the choice I make each and every day.
I like this verse from Job 34:22 (CSB) that says “There is no darkness, no deep darkness, where evildoers can hide.” God sees all. He sees our wrongdoing. He sees our righteousness. He does not need a torch to light the way. He did not need Jesus to die for us. We needed it. Part of the gamble is this: when you choose to become a Christ-follower, you choose to face the darkness. You choose to immerse yourself in it. But, you do not choose to become part of it. It’s ugly and uncomfortable. But hey, Paul did some of his best work in a prison cell.
So here it is. I encourage you to roll the dice and see where being a Christ-follower takes you. I think it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. But. Do so knowing that this faith isn’t easy. You’re going to fail. You’re going to be the villain. You’re going to see ugliness and endure such hardship, you’ll want to return the purchase. If you choose to roll the dice, know you’re going to keep rolling them until the wheels fall off. He’s a living God. He’s a jealous and commanding God. And if you take the risk, when you bet it all, you’re going to know a loving God. I’d say that impossible-seeming choice isn’t so impossible after all.