Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, and even Rahab are among 17 names or events mentioned in Hebrews 11, the famed Hall of Faith. These Old Testament heroes inspire us in our own faith journeys.
So I’m curious . . .
Esther? Ruth? Mary? How about people whose stories are not recorded in Scripture?
I think of Corrie Ten Boom as well as her sister Betsy. One disparaging day in the concentration camp, Betsy encouraged Corrie,
“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
I’ve never forgotten that line and have reminded myself of it at my darkest times.
Then there’s my dear friend Chuck. He has battled cancer three times. Current medical approaches tend to knock him down powerfully so he uses them minimally. A more natural approach is kinder to his body. The combination of traditional and alternative has worked.
That along with the power of God.
And how have Chuck and his wife, Judy, emerged from this 17 year long battle? More in love with Jesus and stronger in faith—prompting others toward the unfathomable love, unstoppable might, and unfailing promises of God.
So what appears to be the common ingredient in all these people’s faith?
Though faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8) it has to be grown and that is possible only through struggle. Deep, dark, insurmountable struggles.
None of these people were perfect in their struggles. They employed their own fire extinguishers, looked for quick exit routes, or lit inept dynamite in attempts to handle their situations their own ways.
Look at how Abraham tried to handle his challenges. He lied—twice—saying that Sarah was merely his sister. He used a woman on the side to try and fulfill God’s promise of an heir instead of letting God do it His way. The consequences of some of these people’s attempts to do God’s job affect us even today. But eventually, they chose to trust God’s timing and walk God’s paths toward victory.
SAFE moms encounter frequent profound struggle. They stare God in the face and ask, “Are you kidding me?” Promise of a worthwhile outcome seems like a fairy tale.
But this is where faith is grown.
Faith has to be stripped down to total dependence on God.
We must be taken to a place where our best efforts can’t even place a nick in that mountain. Why? So God can then show His mighty hand—and His incredible love. Only then can His agenda be accomplished. And His agenda is always much bigger than ours.
The walls of your hall may hold pictures of great heroes of the Faith. Study them but remember . . .
Copyright April 2016 by Cheri Johnson