I believe, therefore I am
The Latin philosophical proposition “I Think, Therefore I Am” by the French philosopher, René Descartes, has been favored by many people for their quests for self-existence. Yet with the limitations of rational thinking, we need to switch our life gear to “ I Believe, Therefore I Am”.
1. Beyond Materialism, Seeking Meaning By Faith
Evolution and Creation are totally different from each other. Evolution advocates “Survival of the fittest” while Creation preaches about God creating life with wisdom. Besides enjoying materialistic things and happiness, life is a journey in search of meanings and values which include: Goodness, faith, knowledge, wisdom, beauty, creativity, friendship, community, justice, love, enthusiasm, mercy, courage, perseverance, integrity, intelligence, discipline, tolerance, forgiveness, reconciliation, alertness, repentance, revolution, humor, tranquility, simplicity, etc.
2. Getting over Sufferings by Faith & Experiencing Goodness
“No pain no gain!”
All high-quality competitions have strict and tough requirements in order for a contestant to earn the honor. Life is like a hurdle race in which man has to jump over each hurdle in order to grow. We might even smile at the hardships we have gone through in the past. Our levels of tolerance towards suffering could be different from person to person due to the difference in faith, situations, and interpretations. Suffering might come from external sources such as natural disasters or other people. Suffering might also be caused by internal factors, including naivety, carelessness, confusion, wrongdoing, or even sin. The lyrics of a school anthem exemplifies the spirit of overcoming suffering to experience the goodness of life: “When facing adversity, I march through; when facing inadequacy, I show passion!”
3. Seeking Justice & Love by Trusting God
Whenever people face suffering, they usually question the existence of God or God’s love and justice. In fact, the issue of suffering has been interwoven between good and evil and complicated by the sinful nature and sinful acts of man. It also involves the sophisticated system of society. We cannot be indifferent to social justice: to uphold the oppressed and oppose the oppressors of the corrupt system. “We reap what we sow” is our general belief. However, in order to reach the ultimate goodness for all, we need to trust the ultimate all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good God! Dealing with the issue of suffering, God embraces suffering by going through suffering and pain Himself. Jesus Christ became a human being and died on the cross to show us love and justice. He did come to denounce sins but He actually paid the penalty of sin for sinners. He then came back to life to show us that He’s the living God. He’s calling us to repent and accept salvation. In the end, He would judge the world for true justice. That’s why it’s true to say “I believe and I am”.
“….fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer, and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame…” (Hebrews 12:2)
“That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
(Author’s credentials: Bachelor at Overseas Theological Seminary, Master of Pastoral Counseling at Chinese Mission Seminary, Former minister at Hong Kong Christ Evangelical Church and Hiulai Church)