Good essay, Charles.
Firm and Flexible
by Charles Fry
Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” (Luke 1:45, NIV, -she was Mary)
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Rom 4:20-21, RSV -he was Abraham)
There are some things that God wants us to be very firm about. He wants us to be very firm in our faith, fully convinced that he is “able to do what he has promised,” like Abraham, like Mary. God wants us to take his promises seriously, and make the great decisions of our lives on the basis of those promises. No wavering, even when God’s promise seems, at the moment, wild or incredible. James wrote that in our prayers we “must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not think that they will receive anything from the Lord;” (James 1:6-7).
Of course, faith itself isn’t the only thing God wants us to be firm about. He commands his people to be firm about morals, and to hold one another to a high standard of behavior. …