Christians should be people of faith. That seems like a no-brainer. But there are many of us who live without much faith. In a way, we could often be described as faithless Christians because there’s not much need for faith in the way we live. Faith isn’t always easy (it usually isn’t), and God’s provision isn’t always comfortable (it rarely is)… will we shrink away from faith when it becomes difficult and uncomfortable, or will we lean into God because we trust him to provide?
The Bible defines faith this way in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is being sure of what you hope for certain of what you do not see.” That means faith points at something that you don’t currently have, something that is beyond you. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says the reason Christians can live courageously is because, “we walk by faith, not by sight.”
First, Don’t Take Risks
Hudston Taylor was one of the pioneers of modern missions. He left the comforts of Christianized England in order to reach those in Asia who had no opportunity to hear the Gospel. One of the most impactful quotes I’ve ever read comes from his pen and is demonstrated by his life,
“Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith.”
Honestly evaluate your life to see where you need to see God at work. If you are not attempting anything where God needs to do the work, you can do everything on your own… so there’s no need for faith because there’s no risk. Why would you see evidence in your life of the work of God when you have taken control and done everything on your own power? Take risks. Trust God. He is faithful.
Second, Be “Responsible”
Faith and irresponsibility sometimes look identical. How could it be considered irresponsible to do something that the Almighty God has commanded? If God is so powerful that he created by speaking a word, and he gave life simply by his breath, then is it not the most responsible thing to obey the Word of God… even when he tells us to do something risky.
For the Christian, “responsibility” must carry a different definition. If God has called us to risk, it is simply irresponsible NOT to obey. In case you need an example of someone being responsible instead of obeying God’s risky command, consider Jonah.
Third, Forget God’s Faithfulness to You
The Bible often commands the people of God to “remember,” because we forget so easily. Much of the Old Testament was written to remind Israel about God’s faithfulness to keep his promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Most of the New Testament letters were written to remind Christians about the full provision that was made for them through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The grace and provision of God (this is what “providence” means) quickly drop from our memory once we encounter a new challenge. When we face uncertainty, rather than giving in to fear, we should remember the many ways that God has provided for us in the past. And when life is difficult and God doesn’t provide by making things easy or comfortable, we need eyes that see beyond the surface… we need to see that God is providing the greatest gift of all: he is making us more like himself through the challenges and sufferings and provisions in our life.
If you look at your life and there is nowhere you need God to “show up”… then take some time to prayerfully consider if you are genuinely experiencing a season of blessing from his gracious hand (which you should enjoy without guilt, and give him thanks), OR consider if you have fallen prey to one of the above temptations that eliminate the need for faith in the Christian life.
Remember the foundation of the Christian’s courage is the abounding faithfulness of God.