In the Bible, Hebrews chapter 11 is well known as a listing of the heroes of our faith. Each one hoped against hope and maintained a steadfast faith in the promises of God. Here at UGM of Salem, we rub shoulders with heroes every day.
Genuine faith holds you on course even when life is trying to push you off it. Faith chooses trust in the face of fear. Heroes of faith are those who choose to trust God at the hardest possible times.
As you might imagine, the question of trust and fear is frequently an issue at UGM. We are in the business of asking the fearful to be brave and trust. The heroes are the ones who do. This kind of trust comes through an encounter with God alone.
Asking our guests to trust is asking them to look at the same old evidence they have always seen, and come to a completely different conclusion. It makes no sense to them. Our guests come with a lifetime of self-protective perspective behind them. We ask them to set that aside and trust.
God is fond of promising things to us that we have to go get. One great example was the Promised Land of Israel. He promised it, but they had to go get it. Victory was assured, but they had to go and fight to get the victory.
For our clients, a clean walk of faith in Christ is the Promised Land. It is promised to any who want it. However, you have to go get it. Victory is guaranteed, but you must fight the battles.
Fear is the enemy of our success. Fear keeps men and women stuck in their problematic lifestyles. Fear of unknown outcomes keeps them from taking needed risks. Faith says -do it, the Lord will fight for you.
Jeff comes to mind. When I met him, he was ready to run at the first sign of trouble. He left at nearly every bump. During his time with us, we watched an amazing transformation. Slowly, at first, but eventually he realized the Lord would fight for him if he stood his ground. After two years, Jeff is still on track and prepared to stay there.
Over the years, I have seen many heroes like Jeff take up their swords and meet the enemy head-on. Learning to trust God for the battles makes noble warriors of us all. Once you get a taste for victory, it changes your life. It is an amazing thing to watch as they test God and find Him faithful to His promises.