Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - November 2001   Last Modified November 10th, 2001
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A Struggle To Find Faith
By Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho
November 4 2001

Icon Of Christ Enthroned
Icon Of Christ Enthroned

He said to them. "For truly I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain. 'More hence to yonder place,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

In these troubled times it is very difficult to find people with faith in Christ Our God. Looking back into the Holy Scriptures, we can see a parable showing that Christ had some difficulty in teaching His apostles, simply because of their lack of faith, and they showed this to Christ. He tells them of the perverse "faithfulness generation" (St. Matthew 17:17). For to Christ Our Lord faith is the assurance that everything is possible to God, the assurance that He gives what He promises and what He ordains. With faith we can even move mountains. To remove mountains is to know that there is no burden so heavy that God cannot help us carry it, no problem so insoluble that He cannot remove it. If Christ accused His first disciples of unbelief, what does He think of us today? What patience must He have to continue to tolerate us?

The term faith denotes a level of spiritual knowledge, of inner perception, of higher truth. This is how St. Paul viewed it when he defined faith as the substance of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1), and when he said: now we see in a mirror dimly, but them face to face now I know in part; then I shall understand fully (Corinthians 13:12-13. Therefore, the Christian or the believer in Christ must have some knowledge of the truth and once he has the knowledge it is possible to have faith stirred up in us. It can now be said that love is grounded in true faith.

It is because faith is the very foundation of love and the whole Christian way of life that Christ and His Apostles, even the Holy Church Fathers speak much more often of faith than of love, even though they emphatically assert that love is the highest virtue for the Christian believer.

Now that we have reached this point, our faith must now be a living faith, confirmed by the works of the new man, and not the good works of a fallen nature, which are repulsive to faith. This in itself is what faith offers to man: salvation. The faithful Christian first must understand that if he desires to follow Christ and to live up to His teachings it will be a struggle for the individual and it will be with faith! Is not our failure, or rather our inability to communicate with ourselves much less than with God, an expression of our personal struggle in having faith?

Consequently, our religious outlook today can be described as being slack, complacent and an expedient kind of faith. This is especially suited to a society that wants everything made easy; a guaranteed or your money back sort of thing.

We, as individuals, must struggle along the unknown road of life. We should acquaint ourselves then with faith in God so that we may be at peace and therefore good will come to us. It is only with faith and with love in Christ our Savior that we begin to have that peace of mind, live with others, with ourselves, and Our Lord God. Yes, there will be problems, disappoints, anxieties, frustrations, sickness, and loneliness in our lives, but our struggle will have a new dimension if we use faith. With this new dimension and outlook on life, we will be able to live with our neighbor, and achieve our goals. We will begin to act and think as Christians-forgiving, as He so willingly forgave; loving and having faith, as He so humbly loved His enemies; and giving, as He so generously gave Himself upon the Cross for us sinners. Are we ready and willing to have faith in God? Do we truly desire to become acquainted with Our Lord? We ourselves can only answer these questions. We alone can move the mountain with "faith."

With love and faith, let us draw near to Our Lord God!

Humbly In Christ Our Lord,
+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you and with you!
November 2001
Boise, Idaho
USA
 
Content written/compiled by Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes.
(c)2001 Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes