For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
Most of my life has been pretty easy compared to my father’s life. When he was a young boy, he lived on a tenant farm during the lean time right after the Great Depression. Life was tough but he was raised by two God-fearing parents who went to church every Sunday and had a strong and courageous faith. His parents worked hard and raised nine children on their small dairy farm in rural Kentucky. Being a farmer in those days was difficult because modern farm machinery was still in its infancy. Most farm work was accomplished with a set of mules and a one bottom plow or cultivator. It took great faith to work a field and plant it in the spring not knowing what the weather would be like during the summer.
My dad often shared with me stories about the bad years they had when the harvest was slim. They barely made enough to cover their planting expenses and pay the farm mortgage. Nonetheless, they were grateful because God had blessed them enough to just break even during the difficult and drought stricken years. My grandparents stood firm, trusted God, lived by faith, and started each new crop year with the hope of a bountiful harvest.
Perhaps that is what the Apostle Paul was reminding the saints in Rome about in today’s passage. No matter what happens, the righteous will live by faith. It reminds me of the similar advice he gave his brothers and sisters in Christ who live in Corinth when he wrote, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:13–14).”
I suppose that is how I approach my life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. I stand firm knowing God will help me through the difficult years ahead as I hope for a cure but continue to endure this disease with faith. I’m so hopeful and filled with faith that I have participated in two 18 month clinical trials. These particular trials may not have been deemed successful but they may plant seeds that grow into a revolutionary cure for this dreadful disease.
Like my grandfather, I’m hopeful for a bountiful harvest. I stand firm in my faith that He will work this situation to the good because I love Him and I’m called according to His purpose. So, like the Apostle Paul advised, I will continue to live by faith! How about you?