When I think of “faith” and how it affects my everyday life many stories come to mind- personal stories and biblical ones. Hebrews 11 has a long list of heroes of faith. From Abraham to Moses to Joshua and even unknown heroes such as Barak and Japhthah.
Take Japhthah, one of Israel’s Judges, for example. He was at war against the Amorites and asked God to help him win. He tells God the first thing he sees coming out of his house he would sacrifice for God’s glory. Japhthah wins and is excited. As he goes home, his daughter comes out of his house to greet him. Of course, Japhthah was devastated. His daughter asked for 2 months and after that the Bible says he “did to her as he had vowed.” (Judges 11:39) Japhthah is listed in Hebrews 11 as faithful to God!
As a parent, this is heart wrenching.
I remember when our third child was 7 years old and we were ice skating. One of my friends came over and said “Debby! Your daughter has fallen on the ice and she won’t get up!”
It was so surreal. I skated over to where Michelle was lying. Got down on my knees and slid my arms under her neck and legs. The ice turned yellow as she lost all her bodily functions and I thought MY daughter had died. She was non responsive. At that moment, I cried out loud to God. “Please do not take MY baby right now Lord!”
Then in ways I could understand, God said, “She is not yours. She is MINE.” From that moment on a humbling peace came over me and then the medical team arrived, she was taken to a nearby hospital. After that moment, I realized that our children are not ours. God has loaned them to us to teach them who He is and His ways. Our job as parents is to train up our children so that they can tell the next generation.
My life change from that day forward in what I taught my children. I was more intentional about the things of God. My faith was strengthened as I obeyed the scriptures. It wasn’t always easy. Oftentimes, I had to say no to things that everyone else was doing! But our 4 children were blessed by it.
Today, Michelle is a mother of 2 active boys and is training them up to know their creator and powerful God. Even when she faced cancer and surgery last year, her faith in God strengthened me!
This is what I call the “Faith Effect!” As we live and obey our Lord, our faith is strengthened and this in turn strengthens others. O Christian, stand up for your Lord. He died for you. Live for Him. Then others will see what a great and mighty God He is! Let your “Faith Effect” those around you, daily. We need it.
Who has had a “Faith Effect” on you? Perhaps give them a call and thank them… they may need the encouragement. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
After Hebrews 11, chapter 12 starts with “a great cloud of witnesses”. These are the faithful OT Heroes who have gone before us (Ch. 11). Think of someone who has gone before you and spiritually impacted your life. Share the “Faith Effect” on this site and perhaps encourage another reader. (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Spend a few minutes asking God to show you who you are having a “Faith Effect” on. Be humble and intentional in seeking ways to continue that discipleship of faith. (Matthew 28:18-20)