Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Jephthae, David, Samuel, the prophets: these are people that lived out a life of faith. We can look to them for courage to continue to fight our good fight of faith.
If you are struggling find these people in the Word. Look to how they dealt with jealousy, friendship, solitude, responsibility, trust, leadership, unworthiness, obedience, and pressure. God has given their stories to help us as we live out ours. Take advantage of the wisdom at your fingertips.
Scripture taken from: Hebrews 11 & 12:1
Ruth worked from morning until evening. She was determined to be a sufficient provider for herself and her mother in law. Her choice work: gleaning barley in Boaz’s fields.
Boaz took notice of Ruth. He valued the kindness and generosity of Ruth. He knew that the work she was doing, the way she was giving of herself, wasn’t to entirely benefit herself but that she was trying to be a blessing to her mother in law.
Her actions inspired Boaz to treat her with the same kindness and generosity. Instructions were given to allow extra barley fall for Ruth to pick up and for her to eat and drink at his house.
In what way do you react when you see someone give of their self?
Do you turn the other way or do you encourage them?
Boaz noticed the good work Ruth was doing and encouraged her by helping her to obtain her goal more easily.
As Christians we can and should help each other. Take notice of the good works going on around you. Generously give of yourself by saying an encouraging word to them for their efforts or spend time with The Lord on their behalf.
Reward their good works instead of turning the other way.
God’s people were determined to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Their desire to see the wall rebuilt was great…a burden that had been given by The Lord.
It was a good thing that The Lord was leading them. That they were fixed on seeing His will accomplished. That getting the wall rebuilt was their entire focus.
Because they had scoffers. People ridiculed them for what they were doing. God’s people became a laughingstock for neighboring countries.
But they worked through the harsh words because they knew that their actions served a purpose: to glorify God.
As we work for The Lord we may face opposition. We might meet others that are determined to see us fail. But remember that The Lord has put the fire in you to see His will accomplished. Keep working to glorify God in all that you do.
This is a reaction that we may expect ourselves, in the flesh, to give a person that was trying to swindle our plans for our future from us:
“Absolutely not!! You can not have the best. Don’t you know who I am? Don’t you have any respect for me? Leave me alone. Get out of here! I don’t want to deal with you ever again!”
Abraham and Lot’s herdmen were at odds because the land that their masters were sharing wasn’t big enough to support both operations. This is the reaction that Abraham gave when the situation was brought to his attention:
Lot, you choose what land you want and you can have it. I don’t want to fight with you, we’re family. Whatever you want, even if it’s the best, I’ll go the other way. Let’s not let this situation cause any hard feelings between us.
Abraham chose to have peace among men. Pride, selfishness and financial security didn’t dictate his decision.
Learn from Abraham. Let peace rule in your decisions too.
Apollos was adamant about preaching what he knew: John the Baptist. He was knowledgable of the scriptures and had a drive to share it with others.
Aquila and Priscila, Christians and traveling companions of Paul, sat in on one of his sermons. Afterwards they met with him and explained to him Jesus.
Apollos had a decision to make. Was he going to balk at the information that he had just learned? Or was he going to become a preacher of Jesus?
Apollos chose to believe Aquila and Priscila. Now the messages he preached would include the full gospel. He became a leader for Christ.
As you grow in The Lord you will come across truths that hadn’t been revealed to you before. Learn from these. Apply them to your life. Don’t deny them just because they’re new to you.
God gives us opportunity to grow. We should jump at the chance.
Queen Esther’s people were to be slaughtered.
She had two options:
1)she could keep her identity as a Jew hidden and watch the massacre, hoping the King wouldn’t find out her heritage
2)she could try to persuade the King on her and her people’s behalf
Gathering courage she decided that she would be a voice for her people. She asked them to fast for three days and three nights.
She understood that God had placed her in this position to save her people. She knew that He was on her side. Her response to the task laid out before her: “…and if I perish, I perish.”
Esther was willing to do the will of The Lord regardless of the outcome.
God blessed her courage and obedience. She and her people were saved.
No matter what the cost, no matter who is standing against you, trust in The Lord as your helper, your deliverer.
He made you.
He saved you.
He has what’s best in store for you.
Praise The Lord.
“The Israelites are going to destroy the enemy. You have been chosen to lead them into battle.”
Barak took that information and chose not to hear what God was saying. God’s message told Barak that He would be with him. That He would fight and win the battle for him. Barak didn’t pay attention to that.
Instead he begged Deborah, the judge who had delivered the message, to go to war with him. He said he wouldn’t go without her. Deborah joined him; on the condition that he wouldn’t be the one to conquer the opposing captain. The battle was won but the captain of the opposing army fled. And just as Deborah had foretold, another person killed the enemy’s captain.
Barak lost out on so much. He missed out on an opportunity to serve God unwavering. His faith in God could’ve been strengthened, instead he relied on man. He could’ve accomplished the task he had been given but another person would have to step in and take over.
Barak’s reliance on others, instead of God, affected his life and the way we remember him. He could’ve been known as a man of great faith. Instead we see him as a person that was weak and unsure.
You are in complete control of the decisions you make to the opportunities that God gives you. Will you rely on others or will you rely on God alone? Your reputation and legacy are on the line. Choose wisely.