Daily Devotional: Day 36
“By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go” (Hebrews 11:8, RSV).
Faith in Christ isn’t risk-free. This shouldn’t surprise us. If you hate risk, following Jesus would be an unpleasant experience for you. Jesus will take you places that can make you uncomfortable. Consequently, following Jesus isn’t for the faint of heart. When we trust someone, we assume a degree of risk; that’s the nature of trust. Risk can take many forms, including but not limited to, disappointment, financial loss, grief, broken heart and betrayal. We haven’t seen God with our eyes, yet we believe that he exists. That’s a big risk. We didn’t see Jesus rise from the grave, yet we believe and boldly proclaim that he’s risen from the dead. We haven’t been to heaven, yet we’re convinced that after this life, we shall be with the Lord and see him face to face. We’re, for the most part, relying on the testimony of the Sacred Scriptures. This means we’ve taken the risk to believe what the Bible tells us about God and his dealings with people. Where there is trust, there is risk. The fact is, if we’re afraid to take risks, we can’t trust anyone – not even ourselves. And if we cannot trust people – even a little – then we need our own planet, for there’s no risk-free relationship.
It takes faith to even obey God, as we can see from today’s Bible verse. Abraham obeyed God by faith, when he was instructed to relocate. The Bible says that Abraham started out, not knowing where he was going. He took a big risk when he moved his family and headed to an unknown destination. God rewards simple obedience. And when we obey him, he shows himself faithful. The Bible is full of individuals and groups of people who took risks in the exercise of their faith in God. Take, for example, Moses: God called Moses to lead the deliverance of the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. At that time, Moses was a fugitive – having fled Egypt after he killed an Egyptian. The last person Moses wanted to meet was Pharaoh. He thought that returning to Egypt would be a suicide mission. Overwhelmed by the potential risks of the divine assignment, Moses came up with several excuses to convince God to look for someone else: “Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak. But he [Moses] said, “Oh, my Lord, send, I pray, some other person” (Exodus 4:12-13, RSV). You, too, may have your own reasons why you want to avoid something you know God wants you to do. If so, what’s your fear? Can you trust God to have your back?
Daddy, thank you for the honor of being called by your name. Thank you for believing that I can do what you want me to do. Open my eyes to see that you always have my back, and that your hands will always be there to catch me. In the Name of Jesus. Amen. (Enjoy this song by Hillsong United)
For further study: Luke 1:26-38