Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015, has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
Go-To Verses from the Bible
For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7
Good morning Prayer Team!
We know that faith is believing without seeing. By its very definition, faith means putting trust in something we can’t see. For many people, this seems to be a very hard concept. How can we put trust in something we don’t know, or an outcome we can’t control? What if, however, we could see the outcome to certain things?
Many people on the prayer team are married. Can you imagine if, before being married, we could see all the bad days and the fights? Would anyone still get married? For those of us who are parents, what if we could see the heartache and struggles our children are doing to have, or the heartache and challenge that will bring us? Would anyone still have children?
I believe it’s a good thing we can’t see these things, that we put faith in God and in our own abilities before getting married or having children. I don’t know what kind of outcome our son will have in his life, but I have enough faith in God, and the abilities that He has given me, to believe I will be able to handle the challenges that our son will bring, even challenges I can’t conceive of. I believe that God will give us what we need, in His way, in His time, to meet the challenges that arise.
The same can be said for a career. Imagine if we knew everything that was going to happen in our careers. First of all, our careers would be boring—we’d know the future and that would render the present without purpose. Second, the challenges and setbacks suffered in most careers might derail them before they started. Third, if we believe that the abilities that steer us into certain careers are gifts that come from God, then putting some faith (and some work) in these abilities and the Giver of them is what is going to propel us to a purposeful and meaningful life experience.
Now for those of us who are obsessed with control, and knowing everything, walking by faith and not by sight is challenging. It’s hard to venture into the unknown, to walk through the deep valley, or to take on the seemingly impossible task. It’s hard to venture forward when the outcome is very much in doubt. This is where God’s grace comes in. Grace completes what is lacking and heals what is infirm. Grace is what gives us the ability to take a step forward even when our eyes can’t see where we are going. Grace is what give us the courage to move ahead even when we don’t know what lies in the path. I can’t imagine what it would be like to walk through life without faith. It would be like driving in a strange place without a map or a GPS for navigation. I’m thankful that I have God’s Word to help me navigate the road of life. I’m thankful for the grace He pours out through prayer and the sacraments in order to fill the blank spaces. And even though I don’t know exactly how my life will end up (how long I will live, will I live in another city, will I afford to retire, etc.), I believe that there is a heavenly destination that God has prepared for those who love Him. Those who find favor with God by trusting and working and serving, I believe as God tells us, that they will hear the words “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your Master.” (Matthew 25:21)
I choose to put more faith in God, who I cannot see, than in my own abilities, which I can see. And I choose to put more faith in a destination, heaven that I can’t see, than in any destination I could go in this life. Prayer, grace and service bolster faith—whether we are talking about marriage, parenting or a career. And faith gives us comfort when we can’t see, and many times makes not seeing even better than seeing.
Lord, help me to trust You even when I don’t know where I am going or where You are leading me. Help me to put one foot in front of the other today, to make the most of what the day gives me. Help me to honor You today in all that I am doing. Please fill the blank spaces in my life as only You can. Bring me comfort when I am sad, and reassurance when I am in doubt. Help me to delight in the things I see, and to take even more delight in the things I cannot. Amen.
Walk by faith and don’t obsess about what you don’t know. Go with God and go with confidence that He is going to go with you today!
With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.
These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
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