“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
“And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
What if you and I were to do a “Mad Libs” version of the story of Gideon, filling in the blanks with our lives in mind:
_____ was at his/ her lowest point, wondering where his/ her next _______ would come from, or even if _____________.
Suddenly, God showed up. He said to ___________, “The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior.”
__________ couldn’t believe what he/ she was hearing. “If that is true,” she/ he said, “then why has ___________ happened? Where are all the miracles I hear about in ____________?
Then God said, “Would I be here if I didn’t love you? I accept you as you are. I will be with you and I will use you to show others the way.”
When Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, he included Gideon in his list of those with great faith. It’s the only other place that Gideon is mentioned in the Bible outside the book of Judges.
Paul says that those Judges had great faith, but none of them had received the ultimate fulfillment of the Lord’s promise of salvation. This is a privilege that we now have, which is also a reward for our faith.
Many of us have suffered, or are suffering. Some have not but will.
Whatever we’re faced with, God equips us and covers us through His presence in our lives, if we invite Him into a relationship with us. We rely on Him for all things.
“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” John 10:3 NIV
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
“Lord Jesus, thank You for calling me by name. Thank You that You see me in all my comings and goings. Thank You for Your provision. Thank You for Your presence in my life. Thank You for all the ways You care for me, even those things that I’ll never know or see. Please show me how I can serve You and the people You put in my life. In Your name, amen.”