THE RATIONALE FOR FAITH

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THE RATIONALE FOR FAITH

Yesterday, we saw how even though David was beset by his enemies, even though they were literally camping outside his door, he still had faith that our Father will deliver him.

It was admirable, wasn’t it, this faith of David? How many of us are confident of responding in the same way if faced with a similar situation? How many of us have done so in the past? While faith may be a fine topic to speak of when things are going well, it becomes rarer than hen’s teeth once trouble comes, during the times when we really need it the most.

But why did David have that faith? Was he supernaturally blessed? Was he given a revelation that we didn’t get? Are we lacking in some area?

Well beloved, David was a great man of God; that, no one disputes. But given his stature in the eyes of our Father, David, the man, really wasn’t all that impressive. I mean, think about it; he was the one who, after coveting the wife of his most loyal and capable general, schemed for him to be murdered by the sword of his enemies. That’s not very ‘Christian-like’ is it? And later in life, he showed so much favoritism toward one son and spoilt him so badly that not only did David make his other children upset with him and that son; his jewel raped his sister and eventually got murdered by his own brother. Talk about bad parenting.

So for those of us who are seeing lack in our lives, lack in our character, lack in our behavior; David should always be an inspiration and example; for if such a man could still be favored and loved by our Father, there’s hope for us yet.

Now then, what was David’s rationale for having faith?

“I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”” 1 Samuel 17:34-37 [MSG]

Since young, David had a habit of turning to God every time he had a problem. Over here, on this side of heaven, we call that weak, lacking a back-bone. But to God, He considers that sensible and pragmatic. Don’t believe me?

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

Pop quiz; why will God deliver us? Because we are good? Because we have presented our tithes and offering? Because we have done charity? Because we have turned the other cheek? No. Because we set our love upon Him.

A couple days ago, we saw how Love Is All God Really Wants.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5

You shall love. Not serve, not offer to, not prostrate before, not evangelize for, not deprive yourself in favor of, but love. That’s all. And it’s not any one particular definition or mode of love either. God accepts any form of love, any understanding of love that you have, as long as it is sincere and comes from the heart, for He did say,

“My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.” Proverbs 3:1-2

And once we have a genuine and sincere relationship with God our Father,

“… therefore I will deliver him;…
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

Not difficult to please, is He, God?

Now, David didn’t get this epiphany in one sudden stroke of revelation. He got this realization from living a life that followed this pattern.

“I’ve been a shepherd, tending sheep for my father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I’d go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I’d grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference—I killed it. And I’ll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.”” 1 Samuel 17:34-37 [MSG]

Trouble looming, turn to God. Why? Because He’s helped me before. So why won’t He help me again? It’s a bit like this.

Have you ever seen spoilt children? Those who won’t even lift a finger to clear up after themselves at the dinner table? Or those who won’t hesitate to shout for their parents every time they run out of something? Yes, those kind. Why do they do that? How is it that they can just walk away from their plates or holler that they are out of jam and know that whatever situation they are facing will be solved? That’s right, because their parents have always been resolving their problems for them and cleaning up after them. So they know that this time around, things are not going to be any different.

Now look at David. We can probably paraphrase his words like this.

‘I’ve been having dinner with my father for ages. Whenever I’m done at the table, I always just walk away, leaving my plate behind. And I know He’ll always clean-up for me, so I’ll just leave my plate behind again, why bother cleaning up after myself?’

Yes, this is an unfair analogy; and no, I’m not suggesting that we start to become spoilt brats and take advantage of God’s love for us. But when the example is taken to that extreme, we begin to see the sense in what David is saying.

‘Look, every time I had a problem in the past, God was always there. So why fret over this one?’

You see, David didn’t need any epiphany of faith. He didn’t need any grandiose revelation from God. When He penned these words,

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”” Psalm 91:1-2

He didn’t say it out of a divine realization, he said it because that is exactly how he has been living his life for as long as he can remember.

In fact, more than once, Saul went after David. So when David said in Psalm 59,

“Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
Defend me from those who rise up against me.
Deliver me from the workers of iniquity,
And save me from bloodthirsty men.” Psalm 59:1-2

It was because Psalm 18 opened this way,

“To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David the servant of the Lord, who spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.”

Caught that last bit? Yes, ‘on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of ALL his enemies’. Just one? No, all. And ‘from the hand of Saul’.

So Psalm 59 really was just a reminder from David to God, saying, ‘Hey, remember that problem I had 40 plus Psalms ago? It’s back…’

You know beloved, there is no such thing as ‘blind faith’. Nor does God expect us to have ‘blind faith’ in Him. For you see, faith, without precedence, is impossible, for this is what faith is.

“Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Hebrews 11:1 [AMP]

Faith is trust in things that are unseen, unable to be experienced by the physical senses. Strictly speaking, feelings you get in your gut should not even qualify as faith. Faith is nothing more than ‘heart’ knowledge. So without some kind of basis, faith is impossible.

Yet faith is what we are called to have, and faith is important to God

“For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval.” Hebrews 11:2 [AMP]

But in the same way that you won’t just expect your children to have faith in you and your words without first proving to them that you can be trusted; so too did God never expect His people to trust Him in the past without first proving to them that He can be trusted.

And you know, when we look into our lives, when we are being honest with ourselves, God doesn’t make that demand of us either.

Like He did for David, our Father has also given us plenty of reasons to trust Him, plenty of precedence on which to base our faith in Him. In fact, so much precedence has He given that it’s really not a long shot for us to trust Him right now, in the midst of our trouble, even though the world screams for us to do otherwise.

And that’s the rationale for our faith. That’s the reason why we can have faith. Because like He has in the past, so too will our Father be watching over us, protecting us and providing for us right now and in the days to come.

So, staring trouble in the face, are you? Well, look back at all the lions and bears that our Father has helped you slay; and know that no manner of Goliath that stands before you today, no matter how large or ugly, will ever stand in the way of His deliverance.

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