Atheistic critics of Christianity and the Bible today completely miss this biblical faith component in the narrative stories of faith…incorrectly interpreting as myth what in actuality is beyond the inventive imagination of humanistic conventional thinking. Blinded by materialistic and naturalistic philosophy, skeptical critics of the Bible entirely miss the “cross of Christ” difficulty component of biblical faith…which validates its divine, supernatural origin because it falls so far outside of human creative invention.
The difficulty component of biblical faith…outside of our ability to compose or self-orchestrate…shows us the character of God that is utterly contrary to the slanderous character assassination endured by God in Genesis 3:4-5. The distinctively unique route of a God-composed adventure of faith…takes us into a knowledge of good and evil that is real, robust, costly, and directed with a laser-sharp focus…to match any of the fine-tuned mathematical constants we now understand in the cosmos such as the strength of gravity and the carbon resonance we find within stars, or the specified complexity of information we discover in the molecular DNA in living cells.
That Jesus Christ came to earth…and died and rose from the grave…to procure for us “life more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10)…which includes some measure of difficulty, challenge, and even tribulation (Acts 14:22) to open up an understanding of absolute good…and the reciprocal by-product of an understanding of the lack of good which is called evil…to gain an appreciation for choosing absolute good like God does…will be a blessing of incalculable worth lasting throughout eternity (Rom. 8:18).
This I believe is a part of the sharp-edged sword of truth that Spirit-born Christians can wield with confident assurance (Eph. 6:17), for those who can see and grasp the concept of the cross of Christ element within the biblical narrative stories of faith…which then becomes an essential apologetic component of the liberating gospel message of salvation to all of the world.
The vertical distance between absolute good…and something less that falls short…creates the space or gap to neatly divide into two opposing worldview lifestyles…self-directed self-sovereignty sitting atop the thrones of our lives attempting on our own to close the gap from where we are to where we want to go…through our own independent, limited and short-sighted efforts…or joint-venturing with God along an entirely different path through a God-composed adventure of faith tailor-made by our Creator God to lead us into a mature knowledge of good and evil in concert with the “all truth” of Jn. 16:13.
At this point we return to the initial question asked at the beginning of this chapter: Why is faith difficult and not easy? Why do we continue to struggle with faith during a new challenge, when this challenge is a similar repeat of a past challenging set of circumstances wherein we achieved victory? Why does James emphatically say at the beginning of his opening chapter to Christians to “count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations” (Jas. 1:2)?
If God is the King and Ruler of heaven for all eternity, then surely the advance training in preparation for becoming faithful followers, servants, and “friends” (Jn.15:15) of God in the upcoming future life in heaven…makes perfect sense during our lifetime spent here on earth.
But this is only part of the answer. The explanation for the challenging element of faith-journeys goes much deeper. There is something commendable about the exercise of biblical-quality faith…of giving God the benefit of the doubt in inviting Him into our lives and continuing to exercise faith throughout our journey of faith…that imputes righteousness to us…like Abraham…apart from and above “the works of the law” procured by our own efforts and compliance (Jn. 15:24-25; 16:3).