Faith. A simple word that makes the impossible, possible. The Bible tells defines faith: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11 is the role-call of faith. Scattered throughout the chapter are imperfect men and women who have committed themselves to following God through unexpected events in their lives.
Specific life events are etched into our minds. When we were saved, graduated, got married, had children, are all significant life events. One of mine was the night I was ordained to be a pastor.
I’ll never forget the commitment song I Have Decided To Follow Jesus. The second verse rang in my heart, “Though none go with me, I still will follow.”
But think of what those words mean. What circumstances would cause us to doubt our faith?
If the whole world didn’t follow Jesus, would we still follow?
The song itself has a powerful story behind it.
In the 1800s, missionaries were mobilizing to evangelize India. Hinduism and tribal law were the major influences in that nation, especially northern India. That region had the most vicious tribes in all of India known as head-hunters.
This missionary effort was led largely by Indian missionaries that were working with European and American missionaries. Many of the Indian missionaries were killed by head-hunters.
A Welsh missionary led an Indian husband and wife to the Lord, the new Christians also had two sons. When the village chief sought to make an example of them, he had archers ready to threaten this family to renounce Jesus Christ.
When asked for their reply, the father stated, “I have decided to follow Jesus, and there is no turning back.” So the archers struck down the two boys.
When they threatened to kill the man’s wife if they refused to renounce Christ, they were reported to have said, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” The archers killed the wife.
As they took aim at the father, he was reported to have said “The cross before me, the world behind me.” They killed him as well.
We have countless examples of Christians who have made that ultimate stand. Some have paid with their lives, and many others have been willing to die if that is what God chose for them.
Others have simply done what God told them and lived out their lives as an example of faith for all of us.
But these people are not super human. They weren’t better intellectually, stronger, or even luckier than us. They simply believed God. They had faith to stand because they believed God would be with them no matter what life through at them.
The year was 1920. The scene was the examining board for selecting missionaries. Standing before the board was a young man named Oswald Smith. One dream dominated his heart. He wanted to be a missionary. Over and over again, he prayed, ‘Lord, I want to go as a missionary for you.
Open a door of service for me. Now, at last, his prayer would be answered.
When the examination was over, the board turned Oswald Smith down. He did not meet their qualifications. He failed the test. Oswald Smith had set his direction, but now life gave him a detour.
What would he do? As Oswald Smith prayed, God planted another idea in his heart. If he could not go as a missionary, he would build a church which could send out missionaries. And that is what he did.
Oswald Smith pastored The People’s Church in Toronto, Canada, which sent out more missionaries than any other church at that time. Oswald Smith brought God into the situation, and God transformed his detour into a destiny that transformed the world.
What about you Christian? What do you believe about your faith? Can you do the impossible?
Don’t worry, God can.
Keep Looking Up!
Heaven is closer than you think.
May God bless your day.
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