Faithful Friday: Acknowledging Our Faith and Hope in Christ


Acknowledging Our Faith and Hope in Christ

  Guest post by my dad 

 An important characteristic of one who glorifies God daily is the ever-readiness to explain the reason for our faith, simply acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the reason for our hope:

 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

                                                            1 Peter 3:15a

 On Tuesday night, August 20, 1722, Jonathan Edwards penned this brief entry in his diary, “Not careful enough in watching opportunities of bringing Christian discourse with good grace.  Do not exercise myself half enough in this holy art; neither have I courage enough to carry it on with a good grace.”[i]  Two centuries ago, in Puritan New England, he struggled with the same disciplines we struggle with today.  We all wrestle with the difficulties of Acknowledging to everyone around us that Jesus Christ is our Savior from sin and the Lord of our life will.     

But Jesus called us to acknowledge that we are followers of Jesus Christ as an act of obedience (See Matthew 10:32).  When we acknowledge our relationship with Jesus Christ, confessing that he is Lord, God is glorified (See Philippians 2:9-11). 

We can set the stage to do this  by making our environment reveal our commitment to Christ: a plaque on our wall, a Bible and Christian books on our end table, desk, or briefcase, the effects of our life that will openly provide evidence to our faith. Next, our conversation should include the natural expression of our relationship to Christ. Just as we speak of our family and friends, we should be able to express our confidence in God and his work in our life. As naturally as we may say, “I appreciate what my wife did for me this week,” we should also be comfortable saying, “I am so grateful for how the Lord has worked out the details of this week for me.”

I have often become engaged in technical discussions about Christianity with fellow workers- scientists and engineers. Over the years, many have been curious about my faith, and it has given me ample opportunity to discuss the logical arguments for my faith. I believe in the value of apologetics, the logical defense of the faith, but I have learned that this is no replacement for acknowledging my personalrelationship with Christ. 


One day after work back in 1989, I had a particularly heated discussion about the existence of God with a coworker. That evening was so vivid I can still picture the conversation in is my office.  Bob was the company’s lead mathematician, an expert in the philosophy of science, and an avowed agnostic. We talked and talked until it made me late for supper. We argued and argued – I was no match for Bob’s knowledge of the philosophical arguments against any knowledge of the existence of God.   I finally blurted out to Bob, “Well, I guess the only thing you do believe is that we cannot believe anything!” I picked up my briefcase and went home. The discussion left me frustrated and quite disappointed with the emotion I had expressed in the tense discussion.  

On the way home in my car that evening, God clearly brought to my mind an account that I had recently read in Mark’s Gospel.  In that account, Jesus had released a man in the city of Gadara from demonic possession, creating a furor in the local area. As Jesus departed the area, the man requested to join Jesus’ disciples to return to Capernaum. But Jesus denied him permission to join them, instructing him instead to simply, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” (See Mark 5:1-20).

The passage spoke directly to my heart. In my zeal to defend the Christian faith on the basics of logic and reason alone, I had overlooked the importance of simply acknowledging my personal faith, what the Lord had done for me and how he has had mercy on me.

         This brings glory to God when we simply tell what He, in His mercy, has done in our life.  As an expert witness to the events of our own life, our testimony to God’s work of salvation is straightforward: “Tell them how much the Lord has done for you.” 

         Listen to what the Lord says about His delight, as we acknowledge His work in our lives:

    This is what the LORD says:

     “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom

        or the strong man boast of his strength

         or the rich man boast of his riches, 

    but let him who boasts boast about this:

        that he understands and knows me,

    that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,

        justice and righteousness on earth,

        for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.

                             (Jeremiah 9:23-24).


As Jesus pleased the Father; we, too, bring delight to Him when we acknowledge to others that we know Him and are willing to testify to the kindness, justice, and righteousness of His character. This is the basis of our hope

[i]Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, (Edinburgh Scotland: The Banner of Truth Trust,1990) Vol. I, page xxxi.

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