In Christianity, a lot is said about faith. What comes to mind when someone says the word faith? Do you think of a belief in something or someone? Webster’s dictionary defines faith as “complete trust.” The faith chapter in the Bible, Hebrews 11, says this about faith, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). That boils it all down, it is being sure of the things we hope for and certain of what we can not see. With that firmly in your mind, who from the Bible comes to mind when faith is mentioned? There are several that come to my mind, but two in particulare seem to stand apart for me, Abraham, from the Old Testament, and Peter from the New Testament.
We pick up Abraham’s, Abram at that time, story in Genesis 12:1, “The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” God gave Abraham one simple command, “go.” Let us stop for a moment and let this sink in, God is saying that Abraham is to leave everything he knows, everything that is comfortable, to go to a place he does not even know, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). How many of us are willing to step out and take that kind of risk? I would say most of us, myself included, would have found that beyond our reach. Me, being the ultimate planner, would need to have the course plotted out, address loaded into my GPS and reseverations made ahead of time. Do you know what I mean? However, Abraham did not ask questions, he simply obeyed. Wow, talk about faith.
Alright, let’s move on to the next example, Peter. Peter’s faith is shown when the disciples are out in a boat and they see someone walking on the water. As you can imagine, they were frightened, thinking it was a ghost. Peter, however, is the only one who speaks up, “Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus” (Matthew 14:28, 29). Let me stop there for a moment, with one command, just like Abraham, “come”, Peter steps out of the boat. Talk about risk-taking faith. If we were honest with ourselves, how many of us would have swung our legs over the edge of the boat and took even that first step? Just like with Abraham, we tend to want to stay where it is safe and comfortable. However, let me leave you with this thought, once upon a time, Christ left the glory of heaven and took a risk for each and everyone of us. Don’t you think we need to live out our faith and step out of what’s comfortable and take a risk reaching out to those around us?