“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
I have trust issues.
I believe that God exists, but I struggle with believing that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
I have FAITH IN God, but wrestle to believe that God is FAITHFUL?
Confusing, I know!?
Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Faith… By faith, Abel… By faith, Enoch… By faith, Noah… You get the idea. (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses’ parents, Moses, Rahab the prostitute, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, etc.)
BY FAITH…they did what God asked them to do. I need that kind of faith.
Lord, give me Hebrews 11 faith.
Lord, help me to see you as faithful.
I have been through some real tragedies that have made me hesitant to trust. Trust makes me feel vulnerable. It’s risky. It can be downright scary.
I want to trust You, God, but I guess if I am honest, I don’t trust You to keep more hardships from coming into my life. In this world there will be struggles. You have not promised to be a forcefield to keep trials from me. You have not promised to make my life all rosy.
I need to trust that You are IN control even when everything looks and feels OUT of control.
You asked these Hall of Faith people to do some crazy things!!! I need to be thankful that you aren’t asking me to build a cruise boat when I live in the desert…or believe that my grandparents can make a baby… (Good thing because they are all dead and that would really make it hard!?)
Side note: But then years after the miracle baby came, God asked Abraham to take a 3 day father/son hiking trip. The mountain top experience was to be the proud papa laying his only son on an altar to kill him!!!
Who would do such a thing?! Oh, I guess God would kill His only son. He would make a human sacrifice. Wow!! I never thought of it that way.
Let’s just talk about this Abraham slay your son thing. Never before – and not ever since then has God asked anyone to make a human sacrifice!!! Never!!! It was not even consistent with God’s character to ask Abraham to do such a horrible thing.
What I love about Abraham is that…
EVEN WHEN GOD ASKED HIM TO DO SOMETHING COMPLETELY OUT OF HIS CHARACTER… ABRAHAM MAINTAINED HIS OWN CHARACTER AND TRUSTED IN GOD’S CHARACTER… AND OBEYED.
Well, he would have obeyed but God stopped him. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!
Read that part again:))). OK. Where were we?? Aw yes…my point is that God is not asking me personally to go up against the most powerful man in the world and tell him that he is not treating people fairly and then demand their immediate freedom OR ELSE!!! Or else what, Moses?
But Moses trusted God and after some persuasion Pharaoh released the slaves and God led them right into a dead end!? Yes, you read that right.
PROMISES are not PROBLEM free!! Remember that.
Moses was still trusting God even as he stood there… with this nation of people… at the Red Sea. (I am sure Mrs. Moses was giving him that look: “I knew we should have stopped for directions at that last camel stand!”) Oh, did i tell you it was flood season?! The sea was impassable. This situation was impossible.
If they tried to cross, the people would drown. There was no time to build a bridge. And the enemy was closing in from behind. It looked like a death trap. No wonder the people were in a panic.
What I learned from this faith building exercise is that GOD DOES NOT AVOID THE IMPASSABLE.
IN FACT, IN YOUR LIFE AND MINE, GOD WILL MANY TIMES LEAD US TO THE IMPASSABLE TO SHOW US THAT WITH HIM NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
GOD SPECIALIZES IN MAKING THE IMPASSABLE POSSIBLE.
And, I guess that is where I can trust God. I have had to spend years building. Not a ship, but a business that looked like a financial black hole on paper. I have been the crazy one.
I have faced dead ends where I have had to sacrifice (in the loosest terms of the word) someone I love.
I have been enslaved (to fears and addictions) and freedom did not come easily.
Even in my old age (I am not quite 100) I have been asked to trust God and do things that seemed contrary to His character.
It helps to look back and remember God’s faithfulness to Abraham, Moses, and Noah.
RANDOM QUESTION… Did God ever ask people to trust Him to do the same thing twice? Seems to me these were not standard run of the mill requests from God. Think about it…Noah was the only one he asked to build an ark, Abraham’s the only one God asked to kill his own child, Daniel with the lions, the 3 dudes in the fiery furnace, Joshua marched around city walls till they fell, Gideon and his army of 300 were asked to go against unbelievable odds (without weapons!!).
So it wasn’t like these characters could say… Oh yeah, God will get us through building this ark just like he did for great grandpa Frank… Oh wait!!! NO ONE HAS EVER BUILT AN ARK BEFORE, let alone seen rain. Crucial ingredient was missing… Water!?
Daniel did not refuse to quit praying to God because he knew that even if he got thrown in the lion’s den he would survive like his uncle Denny did… No!!! NO ONE HAD EVER SURVIVED THE LION’S DEN BEFORE!!!
LET ALONE THE FIRST MAN GOD ASKED TO CIRCUMCISE HIMSELF!?? HELLO PEOPLE!!! UNHEARD OF!! This was not a routine procedure performed at a hospital on an unsuspecting week old baby. God had never asked anyone to… Well… You know. AND… he had to do it to himself!!!
This just goes to prove my point that these actions all took more than courage, they required faith. These people had to be sure they could trust God. Certain. Unquestionable.
An amazing fact is that none of these awe inspiring acts of obedience were performed by super stars. True trivia reveals that none of these people were heroes before they believed. They only became heroes long after they believed God!
These daring souls trusted God enough to risk the lion’s den, the fiery furnace, and human sacrifice. All of these were new challenges! Never before seen on TV! The first time anyone has ever attempted to ride a motorcycle across the Grand Canyon… Oh wait – that one’s not in the Bible!
But this helps build my faith, because I may not know anyone else who is facing exactly what I am facing.
Maybe I am the first in my family to trust God to become a believer.
Or I am praying for my son get off of drugs and alcohol while all the other male role models in the family remain addicts.
What I am saying is that typically it takes faith to do something you have never done before. You don’t know for sure that it can be done.
No one in your extended family has gone to college.
No one in your neighborhood has ever moved to a big city.
No one at your church has raised their hands in worship.
No one in your immediate family has ever been at a healthy weight, or had a godly marriage, or stayed debt free.
Just because it hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
This may be a new challenge, but it helps to look back and remember God’s faithfulness in other areas.
You have never been able to successfully quit smoking before but God enabled you to cut back. Now you smoke half of what you used to.
You’ve never dated someone without having sex within the first two weeks, but you determined to wait till marriage. With God’s help you have been able to show restraint for several months and the relationship is thriving.
Bottom line: God is asking us to trust Him…to have faith in Him. God wants to know if we believe He is trustworthy.
Hebrews 11:1…”Now faith is being SURE of what we HOPE FOR and CERTAIN of what we do NOT see.”
Do I trust God’s CHARACTER even when the CIRCUMSTANCES scream otherwise?
Do I believe in the Possible even while standing on the edge of the Impassable?
Hebrews 10:39…”But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who BELIEVE and are saved.”
HEBREWS 11:11 “BY FAITH, Abraham… Because he considered Him FAITHFUL who had made the promise.”
Lord, You are faithful. I am the one struggling to believe. I BELIEVE that You exist, but I need my faith to grow. I am counting on Your promise that You will reward those who earnestly seek You. I am seeking you Lord. I am earnestly seeking You. Remind me of Your faithfulness. Make me faithful to You.
I want to be able to say… By faith Kristi, even though ‘such and such’ had happened was enabled to do ‘this and that’ because she considered Him faithful who had made the promise. I want to live by faith.