Finding Certainty From Faith // Believing Through It All

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading

Devotional

From Passivity to Justice

Open your eyes. Let me show you what I see. Do not be overwhelmed by poverty. Do not be overwhelmed by hardships, trials, evil, disease. I do not get overwhelmed. I do not feel fear. I act, but I act from a place of abundance—the abundance of my Father’s love. A love that does not tire or diminish, a love that can be quiet and loud—gentle but not unsure.

It is a love with confidence, a love with action, a love with compassion and not guilt, with fullness and not depletion. I require nothing of you—and everything from you—to love in my Father’s name.

Love—justice—is only possible with the movement of my Father, the choice to move with Him, as he shows you what he sees. And when he does, you will know what to do—how to act—even if you feel unsure how initially to do it. For certainty comes only from faith in the Father, faith in his love, love that directs you and does not disappoint you.

So, ask for open eyes, his eyes to see. Ask for an open heart, a heart that loves like the Father. Expect direction—and courage—to act on this injustice you see. And receive faith to respond. And then love with the Father’s love in you.

This is how you are made to love—to act, in love, confident that you are not alone and the true love of God fuels you and equips you to do all things in love, in my name.

So the first step when you wonder what to do? Remember this: it is a lie that security does not mean risk. Risk everything and you will be secure in my name. Trust me, not yourself. Know I go with you. I do not leave your side.

Exercise:

When we begin following Jesus, he shapes for us new hearts—just as God promised for Israel. In the book of Ezekiel, God says, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” These new hearts are softer. They move more like God’s heart. They are not, however, all shaped alike. They still reflect our God-created and God-anointed individuality. Notice when you view tough situations—sometimes your heart is moved, deeply. Notice also—sometimes it isn’t.

In Ephesians Chapter 2, the Apostle Paul wrote: “We have become . . . a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it!”

We are all created for good works. But, as individuals, we aren’t created for every work. We couldn’t possibly be. We’re all called to help those in need. But, as individuals, we aren’t called to every need. Near his death, St. Francis of Assisi prayed for his fellow friars: “I have done what is mine to do. May Christ teach you what is yours.”

The movements of our new hearts are one way God teaches us what is ours. For our new hearts are made and empowered by Him to notice, to care, to move more for certain people and certain needs: and when their needs are met, our hearts are satisfied; and when they aren’t, our hearts hurt with their hearts.

So we must begin to observe and listen to the movements of our hearts: how the feel, how they break, what they break for.

Take a moment to consider the new heart Jesus has given to you. Can you identify the particular people and particular needs for which it moves, personally, uniquely?

When we become aware of how our new hearts are made to move, and when we actually begin working ourselves to meet the needs of people who are ours to help, we increase not only their peace and joy, but ours too.