The writer of the letter to the Hebrews reflected: ‘Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for’.
Stories of faith are a vital resource in sustaining confidence and assurance as we make our journey through life. Our stories of how we encountered Jesus and followed him are the bedrock of our faithfulness in living out our calling. I wonder how many times the first followers in the earliest days of the Church recounted their stories of Jesus? Stories to encourage one another, to nurture and uphold. Stories to remind them who they were in the midst of great challenge and persecution.
One of the things I encourage people to do is to share their stories of Jesus; to tell each other their story of faith, because in retelling their story they recall again the love of Jesus and encourage their own continued faithfulness. These stories hold who we are in Jesus, they are the stories of our birth in Jesus. Our stories are his gift to his Church. They are to be shared and held to support us through times of great trial, when our troubles overwhelm us, when life is no longer worth living.
I’m learning how to share my story so that I might equip my friends who are faithful: equip them with a story that will remind me of who I am in Christ when I don’t know who I am in myself. I know those times of despair; I know they will come around again and again until I meet my Saviour face to face and, once and for all, all pain is gone.
Our stories of Jesus, of being found in him, are our stories of confidence and assurance, our stories of faith. Share them with your friends, let them know who you are, equip them for the day when they need to sing those songs of faithful love over you as they sit by the fireside in the lament of your despair. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see. Sometimes we need those who journey with us to hold that confidence and assurance for us. We need to trust their faithfulness as they enable our faith in the one who is ever faithful.