When I think of the biblical characters of Scripture, I think of a hearty people. They were robust because the societies in which they lived required a certain level of internal fortitude just to survive in their hostile and inconvenient world. Those of us thousands of years into the future of human and cultural development cannot imagine how they lived. We have glamourized their reality. It was a down and dirty existence. Our understanding of what it means to be a hearty person of faith in a difficult world is buffered by convenience.
These people had no running water. Daily showers and indoor plumbing were fantasies. Nations were constantly at war with each other. Personal property was always in jeopardy of loss. No one owned a Bible. Faith was lived out in a gritty and unstable world. It was not an antiseptic or overly processed world as it is today. Our options are many. Their options were narrow and singular in most cases.
A hearty faith is a faith that stands on its own merit. It does not need any props to face the challenges of life. It is a naked and seemingly vulnerable faith until a life and death challenge emerges and all the props fall away. In those moments we are left with a single choice – to place our trust in the one who is THE KING OF KINGS and THE LORD OF LORDS. That is the place where a hearty faith is seen most clearly. The things we rely on to bolster our faith are nice to have and can make life more comfortable, but in times of personal stress and challenges, they do little to help us to survive, overcome, and press through.
This reminds me of the opening lyrics of Matt Redman’s iconic worship song, “When the Music Fades.” The song begins with the words “When the music fades. All is stripped away, And I simply come.” When all is stripped away in a challenging season of life is where a hearty faith emerges and offers us hope. If we can simply come to the Lord in those moments fully satisfied that He alone is enough, no weapon formed against us nor any social upheaval will leave us weak and without hope because our hearty faith in God will be enough to help us press through no matter what takes place.