The Difference is Faith

October 11, 2013


If you have never struggled with faith, please raise your hand.  Those whose hands are in the air might want to move on.  Chances are this blog will not be relevant to your life.

However, if you are still reading, then you probably understand something important.  It is hard to have faith in an invisible God.

When we say faith, of course, we really mean trust. Thus, to have faith is to say, “Yes, God, I trust you”.  We find helpful examples of this throughout the Bible. 

In both the Old and New Testaments, Abraham is depicted as a hero, probably even THE hero, of faith.  In spite of repeated human failings, Abraham sought to make “Yes, God” the operative principal of his life.  In that regard, he is a living illustration of what it means to have faith… and what God does with people of faith.  (Spoiler alert: God employs people of faith to change the direction of the world.)

The Bible also records stories of those who said “No, God”. 

Let’s be honest.  While we may aspire to have faith like Abraham, sometimes we fall short.  Indeed, not only can our faith be weak, there are times when it can be nonexistent.  Going even further, there can be times when we don’t even want to have faith.  We simply prefer not to be bothered.

That was the case with Moses.  Moses was living his life, tending sheep when he noticed a burning bush.  Through the bush, God told Moses of a plan to free Hebrew slaves from Egypt.  Moses argued with God, essentially saying, “No, God.”  He didn’t want to be bothered

But here is the interesting thing.  God needed Moses to help a very large group of people.  Thus, God would not accept “No” as an answer. 

Something similar happened with other people in the Bible.  Check out Gideon, Jeremiah and Jonah.  They, too, were minding their own business when God asked them to do something significant.  Like Moses, they didn’t want to be bothered.  They, too, said, “No, God”.   Ultimately however, they also acquiesced.

Here’s the deal.  There are things in life that are bigger, more important than we are.  Usually these things relate in some way to other people.  And sometimes, God calls us out of the narrow confines of our self-interest to do something selfless, something that benefits others more than ourselves.

That’s where faith comes in.  Each of the individuals mentioned above ultimately acted in faith.  That is, they said, “Yes, God”.  It wasn’t easy.  They wrestled with God.  They wrestled internally.  In the end, however, they resolved to move ahead despite not knowing how their personal story would end. 

In so doing, they unleashed the power of God in their lives.  Each of these people encountered spectacular things which they would not have experienced if they had continued n their sheltered, self-centered existence.  More importantly, they made a difference, a huge difference in the world. 

Despite their struggle to trust God, these stories are recorded for all history. Millions of other stories are not.  The difference is faith.

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