Last Lord’s Day I heard a sermon on faith.
Abraham was the primary example used, though there are many, many choice examples in Scripture.
“Do not fear, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Genesis 15:1
At this point, Abram doesn’t just say, Yes, Lord. Instead he pops his hardest, most troubling question on God. What about that promised son, God?
Abram (soon to be renamed Abraham) had his doubts and fears.
He brought those fears to God directly instead of running away from God. He talked to God honestly about what was bothering him. His doubts did not mean he had no faith. Fear and faith often work hand in hand.
Faith boldly brings fear and doubt to God!
God IS our shield of protection through the fiery storms.
Right here and now we are facing major surgery. We can’t know all the possible outcomes. This surgery is only addressing one of many ongoing health issues. No guarantees! More trouble to come. It’s a fearful spot to live in.
So many friends I know are in similar tight spots. I listen to a lot of uncertainty, fear, and doubts.
” I am your Shield.”
Shields protect and defend. Shields often were emblazoned with the emblem of their cause. Protection and identification in battle.
I recently heard that the Navy Seals are trained never to swim away, but to punch a shark on the snout should it come close for an attack. The only way to deal with fear is to face it head-on.
Now, did Abram go blazing his fears to everyone? I really don’t think so. This seems to be a very private conversation.
In fact, God got very angry with the 10 spies to Canaan. Why? They came home from Canaan and started spreading their fears to the entire nation. Sadly the fear polluted everyone’s mind except for Joshua and Caleb!
The devastating result was an entire generation that would never see God’s promises fulfilled. They died in the wilderness wanderings that lasted forty years.
I don’t know about you, but to me that is way too long to camp! I think it is okay to put on a brave face, especially for the sake of your children.
One of the bravest acts I’ve ever personally seen was my sis saying goodbye forever in this life to her two precious children.
I wasn’t actually in the room but waited for the little ones to come out.
With smiles and balloons they said to me after this visit — Mommy might go to see Jesus!
Of course, they didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. But what I DID understand is that brave, loving Mommy didn’t frighten them with her intense emotions. It was a peaceful goodbye. It was a mother’s last act of sacrificial love for her children.
Faith doesn’t allow fear to win. You might be shaking in your boots, but faith in God’s promises propels you forward!
God told Abram to look up and count the starry hosts. Number the stars? Impossible quest even with today’s scientific advances! This impossible number was how many “sons of faith” Abraham would have.
“And Abraham believed God…” Isaac, the son of laughter, was only one of myriads of sons of faith to come.
Number the stars? Go start listing God’s promises. Our tears will turn to laughter someday.
And it’s okay to shed some tears and fears with a discrete, careful friend. But make sure you run to God first. God is our Shield.