I went to bed last night knowing that I was going to have a rough day at work today. I woke up this morning at 4 am with a pounding headache. “What a way to start an already miserable day”, I thought as I stumbled to the kitchen in the dark. I took some medicine and went back to bed with the intention of staying there as long as possible.
When I finally got up, I sat down with my Bible in one hand and coffee in the other. I have been reading Hebrews and today I was reading chapter 11. I needed the inspiration. I had been wanting to re-read it since our last study on Faith. Here’s what inspired me today:
vs 1: Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to [actually] happen.
vs 2: God gave his approval to people because of their faith–> Want some approval? I need to buck up my faith.
vs 3: We believe that God created something out of nothing. He can do it again in my situation where I believe that I have nothing. He can create something beautiful with my nothing.
vs 4: Abel’s sacrifice was a testimony of his faith–> What am I willing to sacrifice to build my faith? My time? My comfort?
vs 5-6: “It’s impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him”–> I can do that.
vs 7: Noah obeyed, believing in something that had never happened before.–> That’ll preach on its own.
vs 8-10: Abraham went out not knowing where he was even going. He listened and obeyed and God blessed him for it.
vs 11-12: Sarah laughed at God’s promise and it still came true. AND she’s mentioned in this chapter!! God is still God even in my complete disbelief.
vs 17-19: Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son even though God had promised him that his children would be like the stars in the sky.–> Whatever it is, put it on the altar and watch Him give it back to you with exponential growth
vs 22: Joseph was so confident that God was going to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt that he commanded them to carry his bones when they left!! That takes guts! (I had never noticed that passaged before!) –> Have the guts to believe and plan for big things!
vs 23-29: Moses was hidden for 3 months and refused to be treated as Pharaoh’s son when he grew up–> He refused to give in to the identity that the world wanted to give him and held true to who he really was. He saved his people because of it.
vs 30: The people obeyed and Jericho came down.
vs 31: Rahab obeyed and her life was spared.
I went on to read the first few verses of chapter 12. That was my motivation this morning– We are surrounded by THIS great cloud of witnesses to a life of faith. All the aforementioned people- you are now included with them! Lay aside whatever slows you down– laziness, annoyance, attitude, and run the race that is set before YOU, not someone else. This is your race to run- how are you gonna do it? Slow and steady or chasing your tail in every direction but the right one?
I put my Bible down and told God, “Ok, let’s do this.” My day had even more challenges than I had anticipated. I did the best that I could to slap a smile on my face, put out every fire that came my way, and extinguish the smell of smoke that came with them! As I sit here and write, I know that I am stronger for handing my day with grace. I know that my faith muscle has been stretched.
It takes small things to build up our faith- obedience, willingness to relinquish what we think is ours, listening for His voice. Big things happen when we take these little steps. ~Shiney