Living the life of faith includes risk. We don’t like to think of what it might cost us to step up and step out in faith, moving in a direction where we can't see the result, but that is exactly what the life of faith is all about. For some, life is quite the adventure, for others life takes on a more foreboding tone, something to be maneuvered and controlled. Most of us find ourselves somewhere in between wanting the adventure but dreading the risk.
I think on the words of Jesus, when he said “I have told you all this so that you will have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart because I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33 NLT).
The writer of Hebrews explained it this way, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of the things we cannot yet see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). We rarely move in a direction that we can not see the result, mostly fear of the unknown works in our heart and become paralyzed, seeking only the safety and security of the known.
I guess the question we have to ask ourselves is, “Do we believe God is good?” a simple question, but the answer will challenge us. If we truly believe that God is good then living the life of faith should be quite simple. Whatever we are called to do, we do it. Whatever challenge comes our way, we immediately overcome it. Fear would not prevent us from moving out. We would be an unstoppable force on the planet. The reality is in our minds, we know God is good, but we sometimes struggle with it in our heart.
We suffer devastating losses, plans fail, people disappoint us, things happen to us that we did nothing to deserve. We did step out in faith, we believe, we behave according to the standards God has called us to and still we suffer. Shaking our heads in shock, wondering where God is in all this?
Jesus knew the cross lay at the end of his path on earth, but he walked boldly and with purpose each and everyday, including the long walk to Golgotha, where his mission would be complete. Even God’s own son suffered as we do and he lived a perfect and pleasing life to the Father. Never once did he sin in mind or body, yet he was rejected, threatened, lied about and abandoned in the hour of his greatest agony. Jesus knew without doubt that God is good.
Living the life of faith is the only way we can please God. We must trust him no matter our circumstances, whether deserved or not. We must train our hearts to believe that anything that comes our way is filtered through our loving Father and know that everything he does is good and for our good.
“So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong” (Hebrews 12:12-13 NLT)