The Chaplain's Notebook


You and I make daily decisions that will determine our life’s direction. Those decisions can affect you and your family members for a very long time. They have tentacles that will touch your family and co-workers. Most join the Sheriff’s Department with the thoughts of improving their surrounding environment, making life safe and secure for all. The results of the choices you make as a valuable member of the Department range from low impact all the way to life and death. This is why faith is so important. Faith assures you are not alone in your decision-making.

Most people live to one of two definitions of faith. The first definition might be summarized as “Complete trust in someone or something,” while the second represents “A strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religious belief.” While in practice these may overlap, I have chosen to live my life in alignment with the second, and it has carried me well. Each of us must decide how to live a life of faith.

Throughout the centuries, faith has been attacked and ridiculed. For example, Mark Twain remarked, “Faith is believing in what ain’t so.” Karl Marx termed faith in religion “the opium of the people.”

However, far more people have written on the reality of faith. Billy Graham, Max Lucado, Charles Surgeon and R.C. Sproul are all respected individuals and scholars who affirm faith as a necessity for life. Faith is based on something more than logic. Faith can remove worry, which clears the way for optimism. Let’s take a look at some of what the Bible says about faith.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

“Abraham believed in the Lord, and the Lord counted him righteous because of his faith.” (Genesis 15:6)

“When the people of Israel saw the mighty power that the Lord had unleashed against the Egyptians, they were filled with awe before Him. They put their faith in the Lord and His servant Moses.” (Exodus 14:31).

“He will protect His faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear. No one will succeed by strength alone.” (1 Samuel 2:9)

So, how do we have faith in times of trouble? Here are a few thoughts: Keep a positive attitude, knowing that the Lord will provide for you and your loved ones. Surrender every issue to God; I know sometimes this can be difficult because we want solutions right now and do not want to wait. Show love in helping those in need — remember that when you help others, God will bless you in return. Pick up the Bible and read it daily. When we stay in God’s word, his spirit guides us in the direction we should go. Get closer to friends and family — by doing this, you will not feel alone. The truest act of faith is complete trust in the Lord through all circumstances.

If you have an interest and would like to learn more about faith, please contact your department chaplain or your spiritual leader, who can further assist you in your search. Keep in mind that God will never leave you, regardless of your circumstances. God is faithful and is calling us to be faithful to him. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the spirit.