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Faithful and fearless, Sarah and Stephen

Sarah got up from the table with a big sigh. God had promised a baby, more than that even, He promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation. Time was not on her side. She was not getting any younger. How could she even think about having a baby at this age? Had God forgotten His promise? Did He change His mind? Sarah decided to take matters in her own hands. If they were to have a baby, it needed to happen now.

The monitor on Wes was going off again. This was the third time in four hours. The first couple of times I sat and prayed over him, but this time I couldn’t trust the monitors and I was done praying. So, I sat the rest of the night right beside his bed. When the monitor repeatedly went off, I was already there to take care of it immediately. This was my responsibility alone.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Trusting God. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But we forget the human factor. Often, we are selfish and prideful, we presume we don’t need God. He’s not moving as fast as we need to, so we say I got this.

Sarah didn’t trust in God’s timing. Instead, her disobedience created a culture of hate and dissension that still echoes across the world today.

I didn’t trust God with my child. I decided I was the only one who could keep him safe. While the outcome turned out the way I wanted, it wasn’t me that kept him safe, but God’s grace.

That truth is we will face fears as followers of Christ. Being a Christian doesn’t mean we won’t face trials. We will, and some of them will be really scary. Cancer, accidents, persecution, the loss of someone we dearly love; we will face these things this side of heaven. Following Jesus is not a promise of safety. Ask the disciples. Everywhere they went people were in pursuit of them. I’m sure they were fearful, but that fear didn’t supersede their faith in God.

“When they heard these things they were [a]cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God! Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at Stephen with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” Acts 7:54-60

Stephen led with his faith. He was surrounded by people that hated what he was saying and doing, yet he relied on God to get him through it. He faced his enemy with dignity and grace as they rushed at him to stone him. He chose faith over fear, and the Holy Spirit blessed him.

When we choose fear, we don’t trust God. When we choose fear we are not obedient. When we choose fear we are not furthering the kingdom of God.

When we choose faith, we choose to trust God. When we choose faith, we are obedient. Let me tell you, when we are obedient beautiful things happen. When we choose faith, we are shining lights in a dark world that needs our light, telling that world about our Savior.

Are we Sarah’s or are we Stephen’s?

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