There are two things that are very clear about the stories we’re discussing this month in the “By Faith” series. Even though the characters we’ve chosen are some of the lesser known characters listed in the Faith “Hall of Fame” in Hebrews Chapter 15, its clear that:
1. Their life stories are far beyond “normal”, average, or the expected. Gideon, Samson, Barak, and Jepthah, fought epic battles, killed lions with their bare hands, spoke to angels, and witnessed amazing miracles. In fact the biggest struggle in retelling their stories each week is to try to decide which amazing story will have to be left out due to time constraints.
2. Each of them (in spite of their faults and weaknesses) allowed God to write their life stories “by Faith”, instead of following their own plans.
God writes better life stories than we do. Hands down. Every time.
God has more “characters” to work with than we do. At BEST, you or I can sort of…maybe…sometimes “control ourselves”. We certainly can’t control our circumstances, yet God shapes events and attitudes of anyone he choses. God controls nature and the elements. He controls the weather. (While we can’t even be sure we are picking a day with good weather to have a picnic) He sees and shapes the future, we don’t. God is eternal, so he is able to create stunning stories that weave their way through countless generations. We live a VERY short time, and often don’t even get to see the difference our life stories make on coming generations.
That is why God writes better life stories than we do. Every time.
So why is so hard to trust God? Why is it so difficult to turn the “writing credits” for our life story over to our creator and experience the kind of epic life that only living “by faith” can bring? (Minus the lions…hopefully.) It all comes down to Faith. Believing in something and someone we can’t possibly see. It all comes down to trusting someone ELSE to take the controls of our one and only life. That’s never going to be easy. But it is ultimately worth it, because God writes better life stories than we do. Every time.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. (Hebrews 11:1-3)