ELI DONAHUE

How does faith open up worship for you?

Worship is the bi-product of faith  “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” [Hebrews 11:1]. Faith allows me to believe the power of the songs we sing and the authority of the notes we play. The conviction of the freedom and truth in the gospel, something unseen, makes worship no longer about the notes, melodies, chord progressions or words, but rather, it allows us to affirm the authenticity of this invisible manifestation in our hearts. Without faith, ‘worship’ becomes a empty song. In faith-filled worship, my soul shouts "Lord, you are truth. Lord, you are love. Lord, I believe,” and my body's natural response is to sing and play and strum. Worship is what happens when our faith-stained souls agree with the certainty of the gospel and its tangible presence in our lives. 

Why do you think we experience so much doubt?

I experience doubt daily. We are all physical beings as well as spiritual, and sadly, “out of sight, out of mind” is my narrow-minded shortcoming. An area where my faith gets tested is in my finances and God’s provision for me. I often revert to my own means instead of relying on His manna and living water. It is strange because He has always, without fail, come through for me — usually in greater ways then I could have imagined. Yet this is an area where I have to continually remind myself that I will never fall out of the palm of his hand.

When does your faith get challenged or tested the most? 

Just recently I came into a very dry season in my work, going a week and a half without a project or orders from clients. Shamefully, instead of thanking God for His (abundant) provision in my life and a relying on my faith in His blessing and favor on me, anxiety started to set in. I scoured all the job forums all day with thoughts like “What am I going to do?" and "I have to fix this!" But my employment means nothing and my success means nothing if I don't realize who my true provider is. At the moment when I realize that fear and anxiety are not reflecting my faith, all of a sudden works starts streaming in. God is always growing my faith when I least suspect it — usually in a time of doubt when He comes through and I am faced with the reality that it was all His doing.

Paul writes, "Know that a person is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ" [Gal 2:16]. What does this statement mean for you personally?

The older I become, the more I realized that I have missed the mark. If I do not have faith in what Jesus did to justify me, then I would have no choice but be a slave to the law — which I do not have hope in fulfilling. It is so important to encourage one another in faith and daily remind ourselves what we have chosen to believe. What we believe is not necessarily what is physically seen or what others tell us is there, but what God has promised, what can never be erased.