What is Faith?
Faith heroes aren’t heroes because of how great they are, but because of how great God is! We see God’s extraordinary work again and again throughout the Bible in the lives of remarkably flawed people. David’s life, marked by spectacular triumph and tragedy, is filled with many powerful life lessons for us, especially related to faith.
When he was just a young shepherd boy, David famously stood toe to toe with an intimidating giant of a man named Goliath. The Israelite army was paralyzed by fear, but David showed amazing courage. Where did he get such courage?
Lesson 1 - Faith is depending on God’s power. 45 … I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 1 Samuel 17:45. There are plenty of things to fear in life; but fear paralyzes us while faith empowers us! David knew he didn’t have all the strength and weapons that Goliath had, but he didn’t need any of that; he believed God would give him all he needed to defeat Goliath… and God did! If you are struggling with fear these days, find your confidence in God who empowers you to overcome the giants in your life.
After David defeated Goliath, his stock rose dramatically! He became a popular leader and at the same time, a threat to King Saul, who turned on him and wanted him killed; so David fled. Lesson 2 - Faith in God doesn’t always prevent danger or difficulty. Saul doggedly pursued David. If you are a Believer, that doesn’t mean that you are exempt from pain or heartache or hardship. God is often at work even in the most difficult seasons of life. (Romans 8:28)
Later, David would have a chance to kill Saul; but he didn’t. (1 Samuel 24:6-7) Lesson 3 - Faith is relying on God’s plan and trusting God’s timing. (1 Samuel 26:9-11). David could have killed Saul and assumed the throne, but he didn’t because he respected Saul’s anointed position and he wanted to fully trust God and wait on his timing. In life, we are prone to grave missteps when we get out ahead of God, take matters into our own hands and make poor decisions because we are anxious and unwilling to trust God’s plan and timing. David waited on the Lord. Will you respect those God has placed in authority over you, faithfully trusting His sovereignty?
David eventually became king. Sadly, despite all of his faithful and God-honoring decisions, David would make a tragic decision that would adversely affect him and his family for the rest of his life. Instead of going to battle with his army, David chose to stay home. While he was home, instead of where he should have been, he ended up having an affair with Bathsheba, the wife of one of his soldiers, Uriah, who was away in battle. When Bathsheba became pregnant, David set Uriah up to be killed in battle. It was a sad and tragic choice for a man who had been so faithful in the past.
David was confronted by a prophet of God, Nathan, who pointed out David’s sin. David had been so blinded by his sin that he didn’t even realize what he had done. Now, he finally recognized how foolish he had been. 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” 2 Samuel 12:13
Lesson 4 - Faith is recognizing your sin and seeking forgiveness. As remarkable as David was in many ways, he was also terribly flawed. Like all of us, he was a sinner in need of redemption. The wonderful news of the Gospel is that faith in Jesus removes the eternal penalty of our sin. (John 3:16-17). But, faith doesn’t eliminate the consequences of our sin. David would pay steep earthly penalties for his sin, including horrible family dysfunction.
But David turned to God for redemption, renewal and restoration; and we can too! Lesson 5 - Faith is believing that God can redeem your worst failures. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Psalm 51:10-12
David would go on to give all that he had to honor the Lord, including planning to build the Temple in Jerusalem, which his son Solomon would complete. Lesson 6 - Faith is using my life and my resources for God’s kingdom and God’s glory. (1 Chronicles 29:14, 16). Are you using all your resources to honor God?
What does David’s life teach us about how can we be faithful?
1. Depend on God’s power.
2. Trust God’s timing.
3. Recognize your sin and seek God’s forgiveness.
4. Believe that God can redeem and use your worst failures.
5. Use your life and resources for His Kingdom.
For much more, listen to Heroes - Part 8: David with guest speaker, Will Oswald.