Math and Faith

So last week I was at Bible Study and we were studying Philippians 3. One of the things being discussed was Philippians 3:8-9:

8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

One of our study questions was, “What does faith look like to you?”. Someone said they trust science and math so believing in anything unquantifiabled was faith. Our leader was talking about God being the same today, yesterday and forever. Suddenly it clicked. Living with God leading your life is like a Calculus problem. Before we go any further you have to know that I loved calculus. There is nothing more satisfying than working on a problem that takes at least a page to solve (ok, at least academically).

So how does this work in my twisted little mind? When you are sitting in a classroom you are assigned a problem. Your teacher knows that you have the tools (books, past problems, class notes, etc) to solve the problem but you are not sure. This is similar to God. God put’s things in our life (problems, obstacles, growth opportunities, etc) but He has equipped us with all the tools we need to get through it (the Bible, prayer, wisdom of other mature Christians, etc). When you start to solve a complex math problem you review all the details and occasionally diagram the problem. Then using your various tools, take it one step at a time. When you take the first step, you take blind. You do not start a complex calculus problem knowing what the answer is. Frankly, you don’t even always know what you 2nd step is until you take the 1st step. That is similar to faith. You have to believe that you have the tools to complete the task you have been given. You just have to take it one step at a time until you reach completion. You will just frustrate yourself if you look to far ahead. God will never give you anything that you don’t have the tools for. You have to also remember that one of the biggest tools is prayer because that is how we communicate with God. Just like our math teacher is always there if we need help, so is God. So while people think that math and faith are at odds, really math can teach you how to have faith.

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