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“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” (Matthew 17:20)

We crawl into our car to conduct one last visual check making sure we haven’t missed anything.  The tires have been checked, the oil has been changed, the navigation system has been loaded with each of the estimated destinations, and all of the emergency likelihoods have been anticipated.  Having done everything possible to assure a successful trip, we back out of the garage and begin to make our way toward a long-awaited getaway. We are as secure as we can possibly be, but we have no guarantee we will ever get there.  Maybe our trip is a costlier once-in-a-lifetime venture by plane to a far off-destination, or a cruise aboard a luxurious passenger ship offering amazing ports of call. As we finalize the details of our journey, we are given the opportunity to purchase travel insurance. We weigh the options like becoming ill, having a family emergency, or other possible reasons for cancellation, and we wonder if the extra cost is worth it. The truth is that most days the deliberate acts we take are based on the experience that we have done them before, and everything has been okay.  But when it comes to heading off for parts unknown – things are a little different for many of us. There’s a lot more to consider.

Our faith-walk is a lot like that as well. Jesus often spoke about how faith, or the lack of it, will directly affect our ability to be an effective follower. At Jesus’ prompting, His disciple Peter walked on water. “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’” (Matthew 14:30). On another occasion, a man approached Jesus with his son who was afflicted with seizures, kneeling before Him saying: “I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him” (Matthew 17:16).  In both instances, He scolded them for their lack of faith. There were times, however, when He was amazed at the faith others showed. Once He was approached by a Roman soldier who was grieved by the suffering condition of his ailing servant. “Jesus said, ‘I will come and heal him.’ But the officer said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed’” (Matthew 8:7-8). “When Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who followed Him, ‘Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith’” (Matthew 8:10).

God’s Word is filled with stories of faith, frequently demonstrated by a surprising cast of characters. One of those is featured in the Old Testament story of Rahab, a prostitute woman in ancient Jericho who saved two spies who had been sent by Joshua to measure the defenses of the city. People had told her how God helped the Israelites during their journey to Canaan. She stated to the men: “For the LORD your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below” (Joshua 2:11).  Knowing that her city would be attacked and destroyed for its wickedness and idol worship, she protected the men and helped them escape with the promise that they would provide safe passage for her and her family, even if they slaughtered everyone else in Jericho.  When it was time – “The men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all the other relatives who were with her. They moved her whole family to a safe place near the camp of Israel” (Joshua 6:23). Rahab trusted God to save her, and she wanted to join His people. So God gifted these things to her, because of her faith. Having special significance for Christians, she is among four women listed in Matthew’s gospel as ancestors of Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 1:5-6).

We find in Rahab’s life the inspiring story of each of us who have failed through sin but been saved by grace. It’s not an insurance package that we can purchase, for Jesus has already paid our premium with His death. What an awesome gift when we comprehend that faith tough enough to withstand difficult times is not created by our feelings or even what we perceive with our physical senses. It must be based first and foremost on what we know about God. It’s an insurance package worth having and holding onto.

REFLECTION: As you look back over your life, can you see times that you were like Peter and sinking in the water for lack of faith? How do Rahab and the Roman soldier provide direction for your faith walk? Can you think of other Biblical or personal examples where faith insured a positive outcome?


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