“By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.”Hebrews 11:4
Faith. Many well-meaning believers can easily overlook this five-letter word, suggesting it to be a spiritual gift given only to some. That not everyone has the faith that can move mountains, but only those who are called as vocational ministers or pastors. We ask God for faith, but receive what seems to be silence.
We want answers for our trials, our pain, our waiting. And in the midst of seeking these answers, we ask God to give us the faith to trust Him with the outcome.
When I was in college at Dallas Baptist University, there were several semesters my faith was put to the test. My parents were married right out of high school and they didn’t know they were supposed to be saving up for their child to attend college, much less a private Christian university. Financially, the numbers didn’t add up for me to attend and there were a lot of unknowns. Every single semester, God brought me to my knees dependent upon Him to provide. And He did, so much so that I graduated with my bachelor’s and master’s degree from DBU completely debt free.
I say that not to boast in my own doing, because as a poor college student working part time at a local church, I certainly wasn’t in any position to be reckless with what God had blessed me with.
It can become so easy to fall into the trap that faith is a passive attribute we can use when we need it but allow it to fall by the wayside and become lazy when things are going fine for us. Instead, faith is the proactive, obedient response to a holy God, who has already proven Himself trustworthy time and time again.
We often ask for faith to get us through each moment instead of looking at the bigger picture—the legacy of faith we will leave behind us. By faith, Abel offered his sacrifice to God. He didn’t bargain or negotiate with God by saying, “I’ll give you this sacrifice if you give me faith to get through the day.” No. His faith in God came first. Abel placed his faith in the holy and righteous God he knew to be true, and he gave God his best, not knowing that his own murder would be the outcome.
God is faithful even when His people are not. Faith draws sinful people to a holy God, enabling us to trust in the One who sees and understands the bigger picture because He is the one in control. Faith is so much more than a five-letter word.
Questions for Thought
- How have you seen God actively answer your prayers in the past week? Month? Year?
- Has God asked you to surrender something in your life in order to draw you closer to Him? If so, talk to Him. Draw near to your heavenly Father and trust that He knows what is best for your life. Trust Him with the thing that you are afraid to release.
Child Connection Questions
Younger: Explain to your child that God will do what He says He will do. God is good and He cares for us!
Older: God’s care and concern for us exists regardless of people’s circumstances. Talk with your child about a time where it might have been hard to trust God because you didn’t know the outcome, but you had faith in Him to provide.
Thank God in advance for the provision He is going to bring you. Have faith that He will go before you to meet your every need.
Director of Preteen Ministry
Ashley is passionate about seeing children come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. Her favorite part of ministry is getting to witness life change in children as they realize God really is who He says He is—the one true God! She is newly married to Kris and they have a rescue dog named Murphy. She loves to bake and go shopping in her free time.