Journal Entry // June 2, 2022
And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.Acts 19:8 ESV
Reasoning and persuading… I was thinking on this phrase in the context of the passage and how it is important for my witness to be both reasoned and persuasive. That my faith or anyone’s faith in Christ is not without reason. I think that we all at times may not know an answer to a skeptic’s question, so instead of admitting that we don’t know the answer and need to look into the question more closely, we instantly become defensive and counter that we have to take some things on faith. That we have to leap into the dark so to speak. This is not true though. What we need is a reasoned and persuasive understanding of the faith and patience to explain the truth that we believe to anyone who asks.
Of course this leads me to question myself on this. Do I have a reasoned and persuasive faith in Jesus? This is important. It’s important because it is the basis for how I will express my faith as I live and walk in this world. Where is my heart the weakest? Where do I succumb to sin and temptation? It is in those moments where my faith and understanding about Jesus is lacking reason and understanding. It is how I handle those same questions in my heart that everyone asks. Do I just brush away my questions and doubt by putting on a mask? It is easy to put on this mask of Christian faith and wear it before my family and friends. It is easy to lie to them and hide my doubt and fears. It’s even easier to lie to myself about these doubts and fears.
This is where sin entangles me. This is where sin enters into my heart, sets root, and begins to grow. When I mask my unbelief, I am prone to believe the lie I am projecting about my faith. I ignore the warning signs of my heart and continue the lie. I do this so much that I begin to believe the lie. I begin to believe that there is no doubt in my heart and that I just have to take it on faith (even if I don’t believe that). This lie becomes my “truth” and I convince myself that this lie is right. So I dig in and embrace it. I become stubborn in my heart and unable to change when I do see the reason brought to counter my unbelief. I embrace my stubbornness and then harden my heart.
What I need is a continual manifestation of humility and honesty in my life. I need to be honest with myself about my unbelief. I need to be honest with myself and with God. I need to bring my unbelief before Jesus and repent. I need to be humble in my pursuit of holiness and loving Jesus with all my heart. This means not running from hard questions about faith. This means engaging with the Word of God and letting it speak to my heart. It means I must continue to grow and learn and apply Biblical truth to my life. I need to engage with the Word and let it reason and persuade my heart. I need pray continually for a compassionate heart. A heart filled with compassion for others and for myself. I need to keep learning by challenging my faith and understanding. Asking myself continually, what is the reason for the hope within me?”