There was a story about a man who was traveling down a path that was very close to the edge of a steep cliff. As the man drew closer to the edge of the cliff, he underestimated the end of the ledge of the cliff and fell off it nearly costing him his life. As he fell from the cliff, he was able to grab hold of a large branch which kept him from one hundred feet to his possible death. The branch that the man hung from was not close enough for him to get back to the top of the ledge he had fallen from. The branch was also too still high for the man to reach the bottom of the cliff safely without him hurting himself severely or possibly costing him his life.
As the man was hanging from the branch trying desperately not to let go, the man began to cry out to for help. The man cried “is there anyone up there who can save me”? After crying out for help several times, the man heard a voice from above responding back to his cry to be recused from his crisis. The voice from above asked the man three questions. The first question that the voice from above asked the man hanging from the branch was “do you believe I can help you”? The second question that the voice from above asked the man hanging from the branch was do you believe that I am powerful enough to help you”? The third question that the voice from above asked the man hanging from the branch was “do you believe that I love you enough to help you”?. The man hanging from the branch response was yes, I believe you can help me, I believe you are powerful enough, and I believe you love me enough to help me.
The voice from above said to the man because you believe these things which I have stated to you, I want you to let go of the branch and I will save you. The man hanging from the branch went silent for a moment and cried out, is there anyone else up there who can save me? Most of the times we are just like that man in the midst of crisis hanging on for our dear lives. We should put our faith in God to allow Him to bring us out of our situation but we focus on our circumstances and we begin looking for help from someone else.
Now there are several reasons why the word of God encourages us to have to faith in God but I will share three important reasons why we should have faith in the Lord and His word. The first reason why we must have faith in God is that we will always be confronted with risks before we experience our reward. The second reason why we must have faith in God is in our crisis, He reveals to us who He is in our situation. Finally, the third reason why we must have faith in God is when we seek the Lord diligently in private, He promises to be a rewarder to us openly.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Risk before reward
The first reason why we must have faith in God is that we will always be confronted with risks before we experience our reward. According to dictionary.com, the word faith means “to have confidence or trust in a person or thing”. The man hanging from the branch desperately wanted to be saved from his dilemma not wanting to be hurt. He wanted to have the blessing of being rescued by the one extending help to him. The man needing help wanted his reward but was not willing to take on any risks on his part. His unwillingness to take the risk of letting go of the branch was because of his lack of faith that the person could rescue him. He allowed his mind to dictate to him that the request which was made of him did not make any sense and was too dangerous for him to consider doing. His confession of belief in what he thought and felt what the person above could do him was replaced with an overwhelming sense of fear that things would not turn out good for him.
Now when I speak about risk, I am not speaking from the perspective of a person being careless to the point that they could cause themselves hurt or harm. However, the risk we take in faith should not be made based upon the decisions that we make because of how we feel or what is happening around us. When Peter began to walk on the water, he walked because of the commandment that his Master gave him. The commandment that Jesus gave Peter was to “Come” and Peter began walking on the water (Matthew 14:29). At first, Peter did not allow himself to not be moved or distracted by what was around him which gave him the faith to take the risk and step out of the boat. However, when the winds began to blow and Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, Peter began to sink into the water he was walking on a few minutes earlier. The Lord wants you my brother stop looking at what is going on around you and by faith take the risk and step out of your comfort zone. The Lord has and is still speaking to you my sister to let go of the branch you have been holding onto and allow the Lord to catch you in His loving arms of grace to help you in your time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
The second reason why we must have faith in God is in our crisis, He reveals to us who He is in our situation. When a person is called to court testify as a witness in a courtroom, they are asked to do so either on behalf of the plaintiff or the defendant behalf. The plaintiff, for example, could be the state of New York and the defendant could be a person who is trying to prove why they are innocent and not guilty of a crime. A witness is called to testify about the personal facts that they know which could help twelve jurors decide if the person being tried is either innocent or guilty. If the person attempts to speak about something that he or she does not have first-hand knowledge of their testimony would not be considered credible to help either the plaintiff or defendant’s case. This is why when a person is asked to testify of something that can do so because of the intimate and personal experience that they have had regarding either a person, place or circumstance they were a part of that day. .
It is important for us as believers to understand that we go through a crisis, the crisis was not permitted to happen by the Lord to destroy us but to help grow us up in Him. If we are going through a crisis regarding our finances, the lack of finances we have will help us to come to understand the Lord, He is our provider. If we are going through a major battle with our health, our faith in God will help us to receive the revelation that He is our Healer. If we are confused and not sure what is the right decision we should make with our careers, our faith in God will give us the revelation that He is the Light of the world (John 8:12). When our faith is grounded in the word of God and not the opinions of others we will gain knowledge and wisdom who the Lord is to His people. In Hebrews 11:6 the word of God says that “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is”. Our faith in the word of God will help to move us from a point of having information about who God is to a place our knowing that He is our present help in a time of trouble (Psalms 46:1).
Seeking the Lord
Finally, the third reason why we must have faith in God is when we seek the Lord diligently in private, He promises to be a rewarder to us openly. According to dictionary.com, the word reward means “something given or received in return or recompense for service, merit, hardship”. When Jesus taught on prayer in Matthew 6:5-7, He stressed that our prayer life should not be like those who wanted to be publicly stroke by others. The Pharisees in Jesus day would go into the synagogues or stand on the corner praying religiously. As they prayed before people, they would make themselves look and sound deep wanting others to be impressed by what they did. They also would pray repetitively wanting others to be astonished by how long they prayed from the many words they spoke. However, Jesus told the multitude and His disciples that these religious hypocrites reward would come from the validation of men. These men had the title of being a religious sect that was supposed to know the law of God but their hearts were so far from what touches the heart of God.
The Lord does not want us struggling in our heads rehearsing what we feel would be the right things to say in prayer. He does not want us debating within ourselves if we should pray softly or if we should pray vocally in publically. We should never view prayer as a comparison game by comparing ourselves to someone else that we believe who pray better than we can. However, we spend private time alone with the Lord, He has promised to reward us openly so all men would know that our God is good. In Jeremiah 29:11-13 the word of God says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart”. The Lord knows everything that we have need of, He is just waiting for us to come to Him in faith and ask Him in prayer.