“And without faith it is impossible to please God…” Hebrews 11:6
I was listening to Focus on the Family recently that they were interviewing a man and his wife who had adopted and fostered children in Canada. What struck me most about the interview was the man’s interpretation of this verse. He said that you can also translate the word “faith” to mean “risk”. In which case the verse would read “without risk it is impossible to please God”
That is really interesting. It really opens up this verse to me. Honestly, when I have read it in the past I didn’t really think much of it. I thought, okay we have to have faith to please God, sure that makes sense. But when you put in the word “risk” for “faith”, it really makes sense. The man interviewed said that God calls us to things that require risk. We all know that is true. You cannot do anything, really, without some risk involved. Loving anyone is certainly risk. You could get hurt. This man was saying that they have taken on great risk in fostering and adopting these children over the years, but the risk was worth it. It was what God had called them to.
Throughout the Bible God has called His people to risk great things for His sake. People have risked everything they had materially, their comfort and a lot of times their lives for the sake of the gospel. In this day in time, I think we as Christians think there shouldn’t be any risk for us to please God. We are not willing to risk even our own comfort for Jesus. “God, you want me to give money to that missionary? Yeah, well that would be too risky, I need that money, what if I can’t pay my bills?” “God you want me to witness to that person on the street? What will people think passing by if I am talking to a homeless person, what if that person hurts me?” “God you want me to foster children who have no home? But God that might hurt me emotionally when they leave, I can’t do that.” All these are really legitimate excuses for not doing whatever God has called you to do, however, I think they are born out of mistrust of God. Do we not trust God enough to take care of us financially if He has called us to give our money? Do we not trust God for our safety if He has called us to talk to a homeless person? Do we not trust God with our hearts when he has called us to love someone who might leave?
I think we as Christians don’t take on enough risk. The early Christians in Acts gave up their very lives for the gospel. God does not often ask that of us, but He does require some risk at times. We can either sit and not do what He has called us to, because we don’t trust Him to care for us, or we can do what He has called us to and reap heavenly rewards. Is it worth the risk to see someone come to the saving knowledge of Christ? Is is worth the risk to enable a missionary to preach the gospel to remote lands? Is is worth the risk to love a child for a moment hoping to make a lasting impact on their life? All these things require something of us, risk. What is God asking you to do that requires risk? Are you willing to risk that thing for Christ? He risked everything to ransom us all.