Three Desirable Life Objectives

Early on a warm summer eve a young boy knelt on the edge of a dusty Mississippi road. Looking up at the moonlit sky, he prayed a simple, but significant prayer: “Dear God, please give me a self to live with, a work to live for, and a faith to live by.”

For over 75 years he has had the good fortune of living the answer to that prayer. Those are three meaningful components, but actually listed in the reverse order. Faith influences the other two.

Faith is confidence in God to help you perform His will in your life. When Moses tried to do the job himself, he failed. He couldn’t keep a dead Egyptian soldier buried. When he let God in on the action, he saw the entire Egyptian army buried.

Faith is the bridge across which we walk between anxiety, frustration, and fear on one side; to peace of mind, joy, and assurance on the other.

We all, even the greatest skeptic, live by faith. We have confidence the brakes on our car will work when we depress the pedal, and there is no way to prove it in advance. We have faith the food at the fast food place is okay, and there is no way we can test it in advance. We live by faith. It is the object of it, Jesus, that makes life worthwhile.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (II Corinthians 5:7)

“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

The second part of that prayer related to a work for which to live. We often put emphasis on the day of rest in the creation narrative, and minimize the six days of work. Even the Creator labored six days before resting. There is dignity in work. When well done, it gives proper pride.

The third request was for a self with which to live. This is often a byproduct of a faith by which to live, and a work for which to live. When a person has a sense of pleasing God by the exercise of faith, and man by constructive work well done, there can be peace of mind. 

“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.” (Romans 5:1-2)

I, that boy on the dusty road, attest to these truths.