Martin Luther once said that, ‘All of Christian’s life is one of repentance.’ I think we could easily say that all of a Christian’s life is one of faith (note: I believe faith and repentance are essentially two sides of the same coin, true faith will show itself with repentance and true repentance will be accompanied with faith). A person becomes a Christian initially through faith in Christ (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 1:16-17) and then lives his life by faith (Heb 11 demonstrates this well).
This is true for us here in the suburbs of Chicago. We walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Cor 5:7). This both challenges and encourages us here in the suburbs (in my context: Naperville).
CHALLENGE of WALKING BY FAITH in NAPERVILLE
In Naperville I am tempted to not walk by faith in Christ but rather by the abundance of what I see around me. Naperville is blessed with incredible material and financial prosperity and wealth. Now that is certainly not bad, but because of sin, I am tempted to put my trust in these things instead of God. The temptation as a Christian here is to put our trust in career instead of Christ, or in our home, or family’s success or well-being, or our health or finances instead of in Christ who is our sure and ultimate security.
With so much success around us, it is a real challenge to continue to walk by faith here in Naperville. It is a challenge to put our hope in Christ and not in the earthly comforts and blessings. It is a challenge to know that this world is temporary and passing, when we live in such a nice place. It is a challenge be about the good works of preaching the gospel and loving neighbor, when there are so many distractions and pleasant distracting things around me. It is a challenge to orient my life and schedule around biblical priorities, when there are so many items which clamor for my schedule. This is challenge of walking by faith in Naperville.
ENCOURAGEMENT of WALKING BY FAITH IN NAPERVILLE
It is a privilege and joy to walk by faith in Christ here in Naperville. I’m reminded that God has my life in His hands and that He is working all things for my good (Rom 8:28). This is a tremendous encouragement to me as I seek to walk by faith here in Naperville.
I’m encouraged to know that God loves the people of Naperville, a proof shown in the sending of His Son (John 3:16). I’m encouraged to know that even what looks like often weak and feeble efforts can be used by God to bring about tremendous effects (1 Cor 1:18-31). I’m encouraged to pray for the good of Naperville and that God would draw many to Himself. I’m encouraged to walk by faith here in Naperville as I remember that Jesus is with us as we go out and share the good news of the gospel with others (Matt 28:18-20).