Faith Always Works: the death of a believer
Baptist minister David Meseg has terminal cancer. He has written a book exploring faith
On 5 November 2021, I will have completed 61 years of life in which I have done and been many things.
In 2016, while lying in a hospital bed as an inpatient at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea, London, I felt compelled to begin writing about my journey of faith in Christ. I was not at all sure of how much time and opportunity I had left to do so. I began to reflect on what faith is and how it is shaped and tested by a life that is lived out in the unpredictability of a world that can be so harsh and cruel. Those reflections have turned out to be a book which I have dedicated to my family: Krissie, Lucy and James. I hope it will serve as a lasting legacy that will continue to speak into their lives long after I have gone.
I have written this book as I come to the end of my life’s journey, examining how my faith has been birthed tested and strengthened. It reveals where I have come from, where I am now and where I am heading. The context of my writing comes from within the messiness and pain of life that allows me to examine whether faith is real and does something, or whether it holds no meaningful purpose.
My starting point is to examine what sin is and what it does, paving the way for me to explain the necessity of salvation and what it does. I have made this my starting point because this is where faith begins.
The fundamental message of the book is to acknowledge that, as a Christian, life can be filled with extreme pain, confusion and disillusionment and begs for meaningful answers to some very serious and legitimate questions, for example: Does God always rescue? Why does God refuse to heal me? What about all those scriptures that suggest it’s always God’s will to heal? Does God really care? If God is so loving, why does He allow His children to suffer? Does prayer really work? What is the deeper point of prayer? Is God in control? What does the sovereignty of God mean?
With these big questions in mind, the book takes an honest look at faith under the examination of someone who has experienced the safety of Christianity from childhood, yet along the way became one of the biggest sceptics of the Christianity that I saw around me. It was a scepticism that led me to the point of considering abandoning whatever faith I thought I had. This is a dilemma that I know a lot of Christians today are tempted by.
In light of these things, I attempt to examine what genuine faith is and what it is not, what it will do and what it will not do. I seek to highlight that the person with genuine faith must expect and be prepared for their faith to be tried and tested by God Himself and what His purpose in doing so is.
The conclusion that the book alludes to, is that, while there are times when faith does not seem to work, the faithfulness of what God has accomplished through Jesus Christ determines that faith always works.
I have learnt there is only one way to approach life and that is to take it one precious day at a time. That is how we should all be living. No matter how healthy or wealthy we may be, none of us has the right to tomorrow which may never come. This approach provides me with a sense of urgency, together with an appreciation for each new day. Taking just one day at a time prevents me from living with a dangerous, casual approach to both life and death.
I have decided to make the book available to a wider audience. I hope that it will challenge, encourage and establish a confident determination to press on in faith to all who read it.
David Meseg served as the pastor of Woodmansterne Baptist Church between 2010 and 2020. He had to eventually step down due to terminal cancer in the body and brain that was diagnosed in 2016.
He wrote Faith Always Works - The Death of a Believer, in the wake of his diagnosis. Faith Always Works is available at Waterstones and Amazon (Kindle or hardback)
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