Heb. 11:1 (MSG)
“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.”
It was Abel that brought a better sacrifice, Enoch bypassing death, Noah that built a ship with no water in sight, Abraham being willing to go, with little direction as to where, and Jacob and Isaac believing for a sacrifice. It was Sarah working on a nursery at 90, the Israelites walking on an ocean floor, or around the walls of Jericho. It was David running towards a giant, Samson flexing his muscle, Mary believing an angel, Martha waiting for a miracle, and the disciples obeying the command of Jesus to go and tell the world.
The stories are endless of those who have gone before us trusting, waiting, hoping, obeying, and believing in something they didn’t see. Faith is about perspective. It’s about realizing there’s more to the story than what we experience, endure, or comprehend. Faith is knowing that God’s plan and purpose is bigger and more important than anything we see in front of us, feel inside of us, or face before us. But that’s sometimes easier said than done.
I recently realized that faith is a word we use a lot as believers in Jesus, but don’t REALLY believe it until we need it. At least for me, I’ve realized that while money is in the bank, I can say I have faith that God will provide, but as long as there’s something there, I don’t have to really believe it. I can say I pray that God will protect my family and I, but as long as we live our comfortable and insulated lives, it seems we’re doing a pretty good job of that ourselves. I have however, had the opportunity recently to stretch my faith. There have been moments of needing God to come through and provide, or even protect. I was in India a few months ago on the border of Pakistan in Kashmir, and for once in my life I thought about “what if?” What if I was kidnapped or persecuted for my faith. Would I have the faith then to stand, to preach, to die for what I believed? In those moments and places, I felt something I never had before. It was a fear of not having enough faith. All my life I’ve been saying I have faith, and teaching and singing about faith, but for the first time in my life I began to ask myself the difficult question “would you die for your…faith?” I really struggled with this answer as I thought about my wife and kids and community. I thought about my plans and dreams and agendas. I was frightened with the reality that I didn’t want to die, that I didn’t want to stretch this “faith” exercise all the way to really having to answer that question, and honestly I don’t think I can know the real answer unless I have to give one. My prayer is that I would have faith in that situation, but I likely won’t have to face it. What we do have to face is a daily decision to trust that God is with us, with us when we walk through tragedies of disease, death, divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy, abuse or a broken heart – He is there. The Lord promised to never leave us or forsake us, but do we believe it?
You may be in a place in your life where you have no other choice than to have faith, because you can’t make it any other way. Take a moment to ask the Lord to change your perspective – that you would see His plan over your predicament, and that you would follow His will instead of your own way. Maybe life is going pretty well and God can use your faith and story to encourage someone walking through a valley of struggle. God is worthy of our faith and according to Hebrews, we simply can’t please Him without it.
For more study on this topic:
Heb 11/ Mark 5:36 / John 14:11 / Rom 4:16-17 / I Cor. 13:13 / 2 Cor.5:6 / Eph. 3:11