Carolina Christian Writers Conference KUDOS Award for Nonfiction: First place goes to Little Faith, Big God by Debbie W. Wilson.”
I’m tickled pink and marvel at God’s perfect timing at receiving this award. It comes while my publisher is offering 40% off of my Big God books. If you could use some encouragement, or if you’re looking for an Easter, Mother’s Day, or early jump on a graduation gift, use code LWBG40 to snag this time-limited offer. Now, let me introduce you to…
Little Faith, Big God
I used to be addicted to performance. And dark chocolate. Now I’m mostly addicted to chocolate.
When my husband, Larry, said, “You sure are hard on yourself,” I recognized the remnants of my unhealthy tendency to draw significance from how well I think I’ve performed. So many of us tend to base our worth on what we do instead of who we are in Christ. How can we stop this destructive cycle? What does God expect of his children?
I find strength in the stories of the believers named in Hebrews 11. Where I see flaws, God saw magnificent faith. These imperfect men and women pleased God. That challenges and encourages me. Challenges, because we don’t get a pass because we’re flawed. Encourages, because God uses inadequate people.
God calls us his children. And children make messes they can’t clean up. They need to be trained, loved, and nurtured. We anticipate that. As a boy, even Jesus “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). If God expects growth to be a process, shouldn’t we?
Spiritual health is not instant, but neither is it stagnant. Vibrant faith grows stronger with proper use. The heroes whose stumbles reassured me also inspired me with their dynamic faith.
In his book Leadership in the Nineties, Dr. J. Robert Clinton suggests that at least 70 percent of leaders do not finish well. They often fail to listen and keep growing, and eventually lose their convictions along the way. When a friend shared this startling observation with me, I thought of the people we’ll soon visit in Hebrews 11, the “faith chapter” of the Bible. Despite their weaknesses, they finished well and earned God’s approval.
Like children who beam at their parent’s praise, I think every true believer longs to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant” at the end of his or her life. I know I do. That healthy desire propels me to persevere in faith when I’m tempted to retreat in fear. Yet if we aren’t careful, that longing can produce striving that puts the focus on us instead of on God. Perhaps this is why so many leaders burn out.
What set the men and women in Hebrews 11 apart? What can they teach us about God-pleasing faith and how to bounce back from failure? Hebrews 13:7 says, “Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” Together, let’s consider these individuals “whose weakness was turned to strength” and find the specific aspects of their faith that we can imitate.
If you’ve wondered how God feels about you when you falter, if the weight of unexpected bills or strained relationships threatens to sink your spirit, or if your three steps forward seem to be followed by two back, then allow the faithful witnesses of Hebrews 11 to equip and encourage you. Faith stories are grace stories. God’s grace fuels our stories too!If you’ve wondered how God feels about you when you falter, if the weight of unexpected bills or strained relationships threatens to sink your spirit, then allow the faithful witnesses of Hebrews 11 to equip and encourage you. #BigGod Click To Tweet
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