How do you define bravery? Maybe you base it off of our amazing police officers and firemen/women who put their lives on the line daily. Maybe by the mother or father who parents alone by no choice of their own. Perhaps by the family who continue to hope despite the diagnosis. All of these are amazingly brave!
These displays of bravery can leave you feeling like a complete coward in contrast. Bravery takes bucket loads of faith! We are supposed to move through life filled with faith that God will see us through. That no weapon formed against us will prosper! (Isaiah 54:17) The bible tells us that without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Impossible??? Yikes! At times I look at myself and think do I even have faith? Is God not pleased with me??? Seriously! Am I alone here?
When I was younger I had no fear. You name it I was willing to try it. Stupidity…perhaps. Definitely not bravery and forget about faith. However, something in me switched the moment I became a Mom. I keep my distance from anything that remotely carries the scent of danger and I absolutely do not want my children engaging in it! (my family likes to laugh at my “all but panic attacks” upon getting into a Ferris wheel) Cowardly…maybe. Wisdom…probably! Faith? It goes completely against the definition.
Either way it can leave me feeling like I am no match for the enemy. That is until I heard a message Eric Johnson taught about the biblical perception of faith. It was something I had never seen before. The message astonished me and completely freed me up on some of the feelings I was having about myself. I knew it was something I had to share with you!
He breaks down the many faces of faith by looking at “the hall of faith” chapter found in Hebrews 11. This chapter carries in it some of the major faith heroes of the Bible like Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Rahab, Joshua…the list goes on but these name a few. We read how they moved in great faith and by this faith they walked into their victories.
Eric takes us on a journey to the Old Testament stories that led to God’s idea of “great faith”. In almost humorous contrast you will see that what God considers great faith we may see as no other option, doubt or even cowardice!
I love to study the Bible in this way! People, please stop reading it. Start studying it!
Hebrews 11:8-10 describes how by faith Abraham journeyed to a land unknown and lived in that which was promised him. However, Genesis 12-15 shows us how Abraham (Abram at the time) upon arriving at an unknown land lied about his wife Sarah (Sarai at the time) being his sister for fear that they would kill him because she was so beautiful thus leading to a series of blessings and curses causing them to be thrown out of said land and moved on to another land and a whole series of stumblings into the promised land and God calls this great faith!
Hebrews 11:11-12 tells us how Sarah was able to conceive a child in her old age because of her great faith that God would do as promised. Genesis 18:10-15 tells the contrasting story of how Sarah laughed at God when she was told that she would bare a son and when asked why she laughed she lied about it in fear. Still, God calls this great faith.
Hebrews 11:20 tells how by faith Issac reached into the future by blessing Jacob and Esau but Genesis 27 explains how Issac, figuring he is on his death bed is tricked into blessing Jacob. He then “blesses” Esau by telling him that he will live by the sword far from anything good and will serve his brother until he can’t stand it anymore and will break free. Sounds quite different than moving in great faith but God calls it so.
I love that God sees our stumbling, muddled up mess and calls it great faith! It amazes me how we overthink every detail of our Christianity. We find ourselves comparing our faith to the Hebrews version of others when the reality is all over the pages of Genesis. Or in today’s culture the Facebook/Instagram version of life vs. real life! Stop the comparison!
All God needs is you submitted, living a life out WITH Him, stumbling your way into His promises and all He sees is great faith! Sometimes it takes faith to realize you have faith!
Keep pressing on in the faith and know God is writing pages of how astonished He is by YOUR great faith! Until next time, much love and many blessings!