However we look at faith- whatever shade of light under which we may cast it, we cannot deny that it gives us the hope and confidence we need to look ahead to the things we cannot physically see or understand.
God's Word tells us that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1). We know that WITHOUT faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6).
In the process of reading God's Word, I have seen one of the most incredible displays of faith in the Bible coming from David, the shepherd boy, king, prophet, and psalmist. What gave him, a mere youth, confidence and strength in the face of a giant whose looming shadow blocked out the very sun? What kept him fearless in the face of death, his eyes beholding the warrior before him, his ears full of his terrible curses? He was not a boy trained for battle, nor was he accustomed to the terrors of war. What gave him the confidence he needed to plant his feet firmly in the ground and to send his stone hurtling straight towards the giant's brow?
It was faith in his God that kept him strong, even though he had never faced a giant before. He trusted in the LORD to guide his hands, and to give him the victory over his foe. In Psalm 144:1, David says that He "trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle". He had complete confidence in the LORD, knowing that with God, NOTHING will be impossible!
Spiritually, we often find ourselves facing giants, giants whose formidable figures loom above us, casting their shadow of doom over the path ahead. Grimly we survey the scene, swallow, and come to a sudden halt. The situation seems impossible! How does God expect us to proceed, with His highway blocked by such a dreadful enemy?
Here are the crossroads. We either allow fear to penetrate our hearts and cause us to turn back, or we summon up our courage, take up our Sword (the very Word of God), and boldly approach the enemy by faith, trusting in our God to grant us the victory.
It is like the last sweet taste of pure air before plunging into the midst of the flames, knowing full well that there is no other way out of the burning building but STRAIGHT through the fire. Surrounded by smoke and rubble, you stumble and gasp, groping for something- anything solid to cling to before the structure collapses and the fire consumes you. Your squint your eyes against the smoke, dirt and grime. Tears roll down your cheeks as you fight for strength and direction. You cannot see anything- the flames are too high, and the heat too overwhelming. You are screaming now- crying out to God in utter desperation, pleading with Him to save and deliver you from the flames that surround you. Your strength begins to ebb, but still you cling to the hope that He will send you help from on high. The flames are closing in. The heat is unbearable. You cannot see which way to turn. And it is in that instant, when all seems lost, that you suddenly feel His hand in yours. You feel Him pulling you away from the hungry flames that devour; away from the noise and confusion. You find yourself in a quiet, cool place. He pours water between your dry, parched lips. He is gently caring for you; tending to your every need. You hear His voice of assurance, reminding you of how it was ALL for His glory.
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you." ~ Isaiah 43:1b-2
Let us continue to walk by faith, not by sight, until we see our Saviour face to face!!
"When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8).