Qualities of Great Faith
This week Blaine gave us three individuals who hold great qualities of faith for us to emulate. His first example was the Soldier who though holding many great qualities of faith most commonly experiences struggling the most. Whether it is through the test of battle, passing their physical training demands or discerning between right and wrong Soldiers know what it means to persevere through struggles. No one person comes to mind regarding struggle more than Job; a man who endured great anguish. Let’s read a passage from the book of Job.
“I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul. I say to God: Do not declare me guilty, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please you to oppress me, to spurn the work of your hands, while you smile on the plans of the wicked?”
Have you felt this too? Have you asked these same questions?
If you are comfortable, please share an experience where you cried out to God in distress or doubt.
If you have felt these things you must remember you are not alone. Also remember that God understands. He knows that we are all frail, feeble, and weak.
Later in Job’s story we learn it’s okay to question God and to doubt him, but we can’t stay there. After God answered Job (Job 38, 39), he repented and was humbled before God (Job 42: 1-3).
What does it take for you to be humbled in these times?
The great think about soldiers are that they do not let anything stand in their way of accomplishing their missions. The tasks before them may be great but no obstacle too large and no complication to difficult will thwart the soldier for long. Given enough time, resources and allies the soldier will persevere.
Blaine also mentioned the Athlete and their great quality of faith was in their dedication. As an athlete trains vigorously for the upcoming race, so must we train vigorously so we do not miss the prize. Let’s read 1 Timothy 4:7-9
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.
Are you still training? How often?
How vigorous do you train? How detailed is your regimen?
Training helps us to remain focused. If we fail to keep our spirits under rigorous conditioning, we may struggle with more temptations. The more trained we are in God’s word the more prepared we are for when the trials come. If our foundation is weak so too then will be our response to the race.
Blaine also mentioned the importance of keeping to the rules of the race. All too often we see today great athletes who we adore for the great feats of strength, only to discover that they cheated. Though our race is not of this world it remains all the same that we keep to the rules of God’s race.
What rules do you break (intentionally or not)?
What rules do you wish you could break?
What helps you keep to the rules?
Bringing it Home:
Finally, Blaine mentioned the Farmer. No one person in all the examples in the Bible is heralded as many times as the Farmer for his hard work. Farming is hard job. You have to wake up early, feed and care for any livestock or crops under your care, clean their stalls, protect your farm from all sorts of problems, know how best to treat them when ill, keeping things warm, performing general maintenance and the list goes on. Not the kind of lifestyle many would say is for them. Though these men and women go at it with all they have and at the end of the day they still have more to do.
The Bible teaches us that we should continue to work hard for we have hope.
Romans 12:11 – 13
11 Do not be lazy but work hard, serving the Lord with all your heart. 12 Be joyful because you have hope. Be patient when trouble comes, and pray at all times. 13 Share with God’s people who need help. Bring strangers in need into your homes.
What do you define as working at your faith?
What would say is working hard at your faith?
Do you work hard to keep your faith strong?
This week as we continue to walk in faith, let’s persevere like the soldier through trials and tribulations. Let us remain dedicated in our training, keeping to the rules set before us like the Athlete. Finally, let us always work hard at our faith like the Farmer.