Faith and faith …. – 2020.12.17
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
The ancients received a glorious testimony in the Bible because they held fast to God’s promises and believed them. The whole chapter is full of descriptions of heroes of faith. And we are to follow in their footsteps and do great things in faith.
But some things here are hard to understand. The ancients got a command from God and carried it out. Joshua, the hero of faith, took Jericho. Gideon delivered Israel from the Midianites.
Others were shipwrecked in their faith because they wanted to believe something at all costs and wanted to force God to do certain deeds through their faith. One pastor carried a poisonous snake during the sermon to prove that God gave him immunity. But the snake bit and he died. It was faith in himself, not obedience to God.
There are many commandments in the Bible, e.g. we are to be generous, we need to forgive, give, be kind, to preach the gospel to others. These are general commands of God, and He blesses those who keep them, and we are obliged to live by them; that is our faith.
Often God does wonders through our simple obedience.
But we still need to be cautious, and not venture into the thickest corona-virus mess on the strength of Psalm 91; – we shall perish in it. Unless God calls us personally to do so; – then He also protects us.
It is not always easy to say clearly what our faith is: human, divine or obedience. But we are learning. And students sometimes make mistakes. That’s where we learn best. God is patient with our mistakes and always helps us in our faith. HE never lets us down when we make mistakes. But when we want to get our own way, He recognises it as pride and is against us.
O Lord, give us the ability to distinguish between everything! And give us the courage to be obedient to You, even when we might make mistakes! Thank You for standing by us in patience and kindness, not with the rod.