Remember the illustration in an earlier lesson about the little girl jumping off a dock? She knew the water was dangerous. But she also knew her father was there to catch her. She had faith (and she had put it in the right object). Her faith affected the way she behaved.
Your faith in Jesus Christ should affect the way you behave. Here’s another example.
Imagine you live in the country. Behind your house, a small creek runs through a patch of woods. Ever since you can remember, you’ve played in those woods. You know every tree, every rock, every fallen log. A friend visits you. One evening after dark, the two of you decide to go swimming in the creek. You explode out the back door and run for the woods. When you reach the trees, you never slow down. Without paying attention to your surroundings, you weave through the trunks, leap the fallen logs, and avoid the rocks. Your friend tries to follow, but soon falls far behind.
The Christian life should be like that. Because you are in the Word, you know where the pitfalls are in life. You know what problems you will face. You know how to weave your way through the woods. You know what is around you. You know what is in front of you. You can go boldly forward and not trouble yourself with inconsequential worries. And because you have faith in what the Bible tells you about your future, all worries on this earth should be inconsequential. Romans 8:18 says: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. In a later lesson, you’ll study Paul’s sufferings. For now, you just need to understand that they were substantial.
Your faith should give you confidence. And your confidence should enable you to minister for Christ boldly and without worry, without fear of persecution, and without being distracted by anything.
Do you have that kind of confidence in your future?
What obstacles in your life worry you? What keeps you from being bold in your ministry?
Another verse that refers to the confidence Christians should have in Christ is Hebrews 11:1. It says: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. You’ve heard the saying, “knowledge is power.” This verse uses a similar construction. The more knowledge you have, the more power you have to deal with problems. Similarly, the more faith you have, the more substance there is for the hope Christ gives you and the more confidence you will have in the things of God that can’t be seen. Hope, in this verse, isn’t used in the sense that you hope something to be true. It means faith in the future, confident knowledge that something will come to pass.
Faith is not mystical. Josh McDowell, in his book, More Evidence that Demands a Verdict, says: “Faith does not, however, mean a leap in the dark, an irrational credulity, a believing against evidences and against reason. It means believing in the light of historical facts, consistent with evidences, on the basis of witnesses.”
You KNOW what Christ has done for you. You KNOW what He has promised you in the future. The world may ridicule you, but you KNOW the world is wrong. This knowledge, this faith, should affect the way you behave.
It shouldn’t matter how thick the woods are. It shouldn’t matter how dark it gets. You KNOW the truth.