“God calls us to live by faith and faith is often spelled r-i-s-k.”–Mark Batterson
To be honest, I never liked the word “risk.” It’s a fun board game, but in real life? I never thought it was necessary. I always used my faith as a catch-all. If God had given me the faith for something, then I was confident and sure it would happen. After all, the Word says that faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” In other words, if we act in faith, there is no actual or perceived risk involved, because we believe God is faithful.
I few years ago, I read Mark Batterson’s In a Pit With a Lion On a Snowy Day. It explores the story of Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men. As the story goes, one snowy day Benaiah was walking along, and he saw a lion. The lion jumped down into a pit, and Benaiah chased it down there and killed it. Apparently this was a story illustrating the power of risk, but I never really got the point. How was the situation at all risky? Of course, it’s a lion, but Benaiah was a mighty man. And as a Jewish man, he knew his God was even mightier. He must have had both the faith and self-confidence to do what he did. Right?
After all these doubts and various thoughts, I think I am starting to see the point of it all. Right now, I see risk as the fringe, the bleeding edge of a weak and imperfect faith. It’s like that faint but potent trust in God that’s hard to hold on to, because you have absolutely no confidence in your own power. Risk helps grow your faith. Something that was a risk before could at some point become a normal act of faith.
Every time the Bible uses the word “risk,” it is in the context of life-or-death situations. Risk means looking death straight in the face and saying, “My God is stronger than you, and His love is eternal. I don’t care if I die.” It’s putting your wholehearted faith in God when it’s only Him Who could ever hope to succeed. If God doesn’t come through in power, you die. And it’s okay. In the words of Paul, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I know my faith is still weak. I also know that God will increase it as I pray and ask for more. Maybe the avenue He uses will be risky. As His love increases in my heart, I pray all fear will leave. I will trust His Word.
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.”–Revelation 12:11