Faith Underdogs

The 40 verses in Hebrews 11 tell us everything we need to know about great faith. All these great names, great stories, great exploits, great victories, great examples show us clearly that faith is defined by bold action related to unseen future events motivated by the promise of God.

In each one of these familiar stories the hero was facing overwhelming odds. They were each huge underdogs. From a human standpoint they had little or no chance to come out on top. But here’s what they did by faith: they each took their eyes off the obvious, they turned their eyes away from the physical things they could see and acted according to the invisible realities they couldn’t see.

Noah refused to focus on the clear skies and sunshine. He totally ignored the five-day forecast. Instead, he took God at his word and focused on the promise. Abraham refused to look at the 100 candles on his last birthday cake and, by faith, looked instead at God’s word. Moses didn’t zero in on the glitter and glamour of the Egyptian palace or the safety he could find in worldly security. He acted outrageously, motivated only by God’s promises to love him and reward him in the future.

God’s people weren’t paralyzed by the giant army coming up behind them. They looked past the archers and warriors perched on the Jericho walls. Daniel walked into a den of lions. The Hebrew exiles walked into a fiery furnace. Not based on what made sense right then. Not based on what seemed smart at that moment. Not based on anything they could see today. They were motivated solely by the greatest reality of all, the reality that we serve a faithful God, a God who makes promises and keeps them, a God who speaks and acts, a God who promises and fulfills, a God who is forever faithful to his word and forever faithful to his people. For the most part, that reality, the greatest reality, is invisible. But people of faith, God’s people of faith, we understand that just because we can’t see something doesn’t make it any less real. We fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

But those seen things—that seen reality—can be so powerful.

There are dozens of people here at Legacy who’ve lost their jobs in the past couple of months or are afraid of losing their jobs in the next couple of days. They see the unemployment numbers. They see the savings account dwindle. They see the empty offices and cubicles in their building.

There are people in our church family battling life-threatening diseases with everything they’ve got. They see the doctors’ reports. They see the test results. They see nothing but bad news around the corner. Every day is a little more painful than the day before. And less certain.

A lot of you are in a spiritual desert right now. The Bible’s not speaking to you. Your prayers aren’t getting through. Your church is no good. Nothing’s working. And you can’t shake it. You feel directionless. Lost. Maybe you’re caught up in sin. Whatever the case, you feel a long, long way from God.

You’re outnumbered, outmuscled, outsmarted, out of options, out of luck. You’re staring into the teeth of the lions. You’re tiny compared to the huge walls that are blocking you out. You’re walking into a furnace of fire. All these things.

Don’t you see? This is exactly the time for your faith to show itself in some bold action verbs!

By faith Abel offered…

By faith Noah built…

By faith Abraham went…

By faith Isaac blessed…

By faith Joseph spoke…

By faith Moses left…

By faith God’s people marched…

By faith David conquered…

By faith  (your name)  (your verb)…

1 Comment

  1. James Prather

    God has always favored the weak and the powerless to do His will. Over and over and over again in the Bible, He chooses those who could not do it on their own so that none could boast that they did it by their own strength. God uses the powerless to show His power. He uses the weak to show His strength.

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