“All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.” — Hebrews 11:39-40 (NLT)
I have been a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles football team for a long time (except for the time I jumped ship for a few years after Reggie White went to Green Bay.) In that time, my faith in the team that I was rooting for to win a Super Bowl left me disappointed a lot (except for the time I jumped ship for a few years after Reggie White went to Green Bay.) But this past football season, with my faith in the Eagles seasoned a little bit better, I got to see them win their first Super Bowl. I have joked with friends in the past that I believed God loved football and this season football showed that it loved God. But for many seasons the question I would ask myself when concerning the Philadelphia Eagles was…why bother?
How many times have we looked at the Christian life we say we live, see that it isn’t going the way we thought it was advertised, and leave ourselves asking this same question…why bother? Well, maybe its because our view of faith is wrong. In his book, “10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe”, Pastor Larry Osborne writes about how many of us fall into the trap of believing “spiritual urban legends.” Stuff like, “God helps those who help themselves” and movies depicting Jesus as a kinda street hippie like in “Jesus Christ Superstar” aren’t Biblical and don’t help us get a clear understanding in what God’s Word teaches us about faith.
When we look at the infamous 11th chapter of The Book of Hebrews we read all about the folks that have made it into the “Hall of Faith.” In the New Living Translation, verse one goes like this, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see”, then we’ll hear many sermons that go on to list the people who are actually named for things that were accomplished by God through them. But then around verse 35 most sermons end and we really don’t get the full counsel of God concerning this “Hall of Faith.”
Maybe the reason is that those who don’t even get an honorable mention towards the very end of the chapter did exactly what pleased God and it just ended there. Imagine going home after Sunday service hearing a sermon that only ends with, “and it pleased God” but it left out the reward for doing God’s will. Ponder that while eating the lunch you’ve rushed to get to and see if the question of “Why Bother” doesn’t encircle your thoughts…anyway.
The thing to ask ourselves is are we taking in the full counsel of God when it’s concerning putting our complete faith into Him? Verse 6 of Hebrews plainly states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Everything here is an action, it’s like the verse is one big verb that we need to do. You gotta believe that He is, you have to diligently seek Him, and you can’t allow yourselves to get tripped up over the rewarder part because if all you do with faith is seek rewards…well you just might get disappointed and get left asking yourself, why bother?
In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul tells to “Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.” This may mean asking yourself if you have as much contentment with being a child of The Most High God when things aren’t going well as when then are riding on point. When we see how Biblical faith works, our journey will take us exactly where God wants us to be, even if it seems as if we’re frustrated with all the recalculating that is going on.
Jesus understood our condition better than any of us do. “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt 17:20)
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Daily Quote: “Faith is not a skill we master. It’s not an impenetrable shield that protects us from life’s hardships and trials. It’s not a magic potion that removes every mess. It’s a map we follow.” — Larry Osborne
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, Just as we hope in You. Psalm 33:22