Everyone Has A Story
Faith Over Facts
Pastor Adam Mallett, Jr.
Adapted from sermon by
Pastor Gary DarDar, Jr.
We were so blessed to hear the testimony shared by Fred and Trudy Crochet this past Sunday! It shed new light on events in my life, and added life to my own personal testimony. I hope that it encouraged you and challenged you in your walk with God, as well. God spoke in a powerful way! If you didn’t get the chance to hear it, I encourage you to go listen to the podcast, accessible through a link on our church’s website. This week, we will be discussing some of my thoughts on the title of Pastor Gary’s sermon that he delivered after the shared testimony: “Faith Over Facts.”
This idea of putting our faith above the facts of life is an important one. That’s kind of what faith is! “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) When we can’t see how things will turn out in our favor, we have faith that God knows what He is doing. We have faith in the only One who is good. There are so many facts in our lives! Not just facts that we are facing right now, but even facts that continue to linger over our shoulder despite being years behind us. That fact might be a tragic loss years ago, or a divorce, or something that you did that you are not proud of. Whatever the case, each of us has facts that influence our testimony in a way that might seem bad. For Fred and Trudy, the fact is that Fred was given a death sentence. Fred was told that he wasn’t going to last much longer. That is heavy news to hear. Had Fred passed away at that time, Trudy would have had that fact as a burden that shaped her personal testimony. But praise God for healing Fred and changing the fact that they both now get to share with people for the glory of God! Whoever you are, you can relate to this idea of how facts influence our lives.
In the hope of making this topic “Faith Over Facts” as clear as possible in your heart and mind, I would like to share some of my thoughts and ideas on this topic.
Factual information is good and useful. Don’t take this sermon title to mean that facts are bad and must be ignored or somehow overlooked in our life. In his book Whisper, Mark Batterson makes this statement (in regards to finances, but also to life in general), “Faith doesn’t ignore reality…” In speaking of being blessed by God in his finances, Batterson points out that having faith doesn’t mean you ignore what your bank account says as you tithe and give towards missions, outreaches, etc. You kind of need to know how much is in your bank account! But, with that fact clearly in mind, you give anyway, because you have faith in the God who owns “cattle on a thousand hills.” In fact, if you had no knowledge of the factual information of what your account balance is, it probably wouldn’t take much faith to give and tithe! Have you ever swiped your card with full confidence, no worries in mind, only to have it declined? It didn’t take faith to swipe because you thought everything was fine. Had you been aware of the facts of what was in your bank account, you might not have gone to McDonald’s yesterday! We need factual information to survive. Factual information is a vital part of life, including our spiritual life. As we study the Word, we are gaining factual information about God, history, humanity, and eternity. That is some important stuff! If you didn’t have factual information, you wouldn’t have a testimony to share. Factual information is what makes up our story that we tell. Everything we know about God is factual information. Facts are a vital part of life. But it is important that we are aware of all the facts! Ignorance, missing out on important facts, is usually what causes us to struggle in our faith. We are ignorant about important facts that shed a different light on other facts in our life!
I encourage you to embrace factual information, pursuing a greater mental/spiritual storehouse of factual information about God and His Word, as well as about the story that He is writing in your life and the lives of all those around you! Facts are good things, but they are powerful things.
As we move on to the Faith part of this discussion, it is important to understand that faith is greater than facts. That is why Pastor Gary titled his sermon “Faith Over Facts.” Faith must take precedent over facts as we make decisions and navigate life. But facts cannot be ignored! Actually, faith relies on facts, if you think about it. Without facts, there would be no way that we could have faith. As I mentioned in the previous section about factual information, it doesn’t take faith to swipe your card if you are convinced that you have plenty of money! However, when you have the factual information that you don’t have as much money as you are writing on your check for your tithe, it takes faith to write the check anyway! What is important to realize is that putting that check in the basket, even though the facts say that it will bounce, doesn’t mean that you are acting without factual information. It means that you are choosing to put your faith in a fact that is greater than the fact of your bank account balance. You are choosing to write a check based on the fact that God promises to honor our sacrifice to give, because that fact is greater than the fact of what your bank account balance is! When Fred and Trudy heard the news, they may have wrestled with the facts, but, ultimately, they believed the fact that God is good over the fact that the doctors saw cancer in Fred’s body. “Faith doesn’t ignore reality”!
This is the intersection between faith and facts. If we are not diligent to study the Word of God, pursuing a greater knowledge of Him and His Will, the only facts that will be available to us will be the death sentences given to us by life. When we make ourselves ignorant of the facts, the truths of the Word of God, we leave ourselves with only one option. We leave ourselves with only death. This is why we are urged by the Bible to hide His Word in our hearts! As we hide the Word in our hearts, we equip ourselves with factual information that will drive us to make decision after decision in favor of God’s will for our lives! Facts are good, and facts give faith substance. But faith will always stand taller than any fact in our lives, simply because of the One in whom we place our faith!
Sometimes, we will find that we know the facts, but we don’t understand the facts. That might be what you most closely associate with the idea of faith. Though I don’t understand how God can work good out of this circumstance, I have faith that He will. And I have that faith because I know that He is good. I know that He is great! However, when facts are beyond our comprehension, making them hard to really believe, we must maintain a proper perspective. When our eyes are fixed on the object of our faith, the facts don’t really matter anymore. When we are so focused on walking closely with God, none of the facts cross our mind much, because His goodness captivates our hearts. So, while we have been talking about how faith and facts work together, support each other, and drive us in our fulfilling of God’s will for our lives, I think that the greatest fact is this. That God is so good, and so desires intimate fellowship with His children, that when we are obedient simply to abide with Him, the rest seems to sort itself out. “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) “All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Let God captivate your heart and mind today with the plainest fact there is: He is GOOD. And watch the facts fade away as the object of your faith covers you in His love.