The youth group is going through a 21-Day Prayer Challenge right now. We started on Monday, coming out of our discussion Sunday night. Tuesday, we read and prayed about hope. Part of the exercise involves reading the Bible and praying over what it is teaching you. Part of the reading on that day was Hebrews 11. I started reading, and the first three verses really hit me. I’ve read them several times before, but there was something about them that really spoke to me this time more loudly than others times I’ve read them. So I stopped and really thought about them before moving on to the rest of the chapter. Here’s what they say:
I was talking to Sarah the night before reading these verses again, and I said, “things look pretty bleak, but you never know. God can do a miracle.” And I felt like I was speaking in faith. After all, I didn’t eliminate the possibility of God doing something big in the context we were discussing. That was faith to me in that moment. And that is faith to a lot of people: believing God can. Only, that’s not faith, not by the definition in the Bible. Faith isn’t believing God can do something. It’s absolute assurance that what we hope for in Him will be, not that maybe, possibly, if He feels like moving, it might happen. But don’t we have this cautious approach to faith? It gives us an out if God doesn’t move the way we had hoped. But the rest of Hebrews 11 is about people who lived, breathed, and lived in faith, and they never even got to see what it was they were hoping for. Were they considered stupid? No, not by God. Certainly some people thought they looked stupid, because they had absolute faith that one thing would happen – perhaps that God would rescue them – and another thing happened (like maybe being killed). But that’s faith. It’s willing to believe that even the absurd will happen through God.
Jarrid Wilson said, “Sometimes having faith means engaging in something so bold that you will end up looking stupid if Jesus doesn’t come through.” Have you ever trusted God for something, to do something, to show up in a way in your life that if He didn’t do it, you would end up looking stupid? Are do you only have faith for the moderate, the things that don’t matter if they don’t end up happening? What level of faith do you have?