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In the Bible, belief means more than one thing. At the very least, it involves the notion that we accept the truth of what God has said to us. But more than that, believing in God means that we trust Him. It does very little good for a person to believe God's word is correct if he does not trust God enough at the practical level to launch out and do what God has said. People of genuine faith are those who actually depend on God enough to take risks in obeying Him.
There is no better example in the Bible of trusting faith than Abraham. When God called him from the security of his home in Ur of the Chaldeans to go to a strange land, Abraham packed up and went where God led him. When God said Abraham and Sarah were going to have a son, Abraham simply assumed, despite the seeming impossibility of such a thing, that God would somehow fulfill His promise. When God later told Abraham to go and make a sacrifice of Isaac, the promised son, Abraham got up early the next morning to make the trip.
At every turn of the road, Abraham believed God enough to trust Him. As a result, Abraham is the prototype of all those who by faith are pleasing to God. He is "Exhibit A" of how faith works: "Abraham 'believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness' . . . So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith" (Gal. 3:6-9). To share in the eternal blessings that came to Abraham, we must not only believe the same things about God that he believed; we must be willing to trust God as he did. And it's in the hard choices we must make -- when we face a risky fork in the road -- that we find out whether we really trust God or not.
We, like God's people in every age, need to be people of authentic faith. In uncertain or fearful situations, we should be willing to depend on our Father in heaven. It is not always easy, but in the long run, it is always rewarding. However much it may go against the grain of our spirit of independence and self-sufficiency, the ability to "let go and let God" is a greatly satisfying thing in the end. Throughout the coming week, let's concentrate on our need to trust God. Let's learn to trust Him with our material needs, our obedience to His commands, and our service in His kingdom. God has promised to supply our every real need. He will make us adequate in the things that really matter. But we must have the faith to depend on Him.
Monday: Genesis 6:9-22
Key Idea: Trusting faith means that we obey exactly what God commands.
Questions for Family Growth: What were the specific instructions God gave Noah about building the ark? Did Noah trust God's wisdom? What if Noah had changed some of God's instructions? What does v.22 say about Noah?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:20.
Tuesday: Hebrews 13:5,6
Key Idea: Trusting faith means that we're not discontent or worried about material things.
Questions for Family Growth: What is "covetousness" (NKJV)? What does it mean to be "content" with the things God has provided us? How does trusting God help us to be more content? What does Mt. 6:31-33 say our attitude should be?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:21.
Wednesday: 2 Kings 5:1-14
Key Idea: Trusting faith means that we obey God even if we can't see any sense in His commands.
Questions for Family Growth: What was Naaman's problem, and what did God tell him to do about it? What was Naaman's attitude at first, but then what did he decide to do? What should we do if we don't understand why God has commanded something?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:22.
Thursday: Matthew 14:22-33
Key Idea: Trusting faith means that we let our confidence in God conquer our fears.
Questions for Family Growth: What mistake did Peter make as he tried to walk on the water? What could he have done to avoid this mistake? Did Peter believe Jesus was the Son of God? If so, why did Jesus, in v.31, say he had "little faith"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:23.
Friday: Hebrews 11:8-10
Key Idea: Trusting faith means that we we're content for God to lead the way.
Questions for Family Growth: Why would it have been hard for Abraham to leave Ur of the Chaldeans? If we do not know where God is leading us, how can we be sure He will not lead us into trouble? With God, do we need to know the itinerary before we begin the journey?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 13:24.