The difference faith can make

One night during a severe thunderstorm, an atheist had a huge tree in his yard fall on his neighbor's house. Early the next morning, he called his insurance agent to see if his claim was covered. His agent was a Christian man who knew about his client's lack of belief in God. With this in mind, the agent gave the following response to the atheist: "If your tree fell over because it was dead, we cannot cover this expense; you will have to pay the repairs on your neighbor's home yourself. However, if the tree fell because of "an act of God" your insurance will cover it. So, which one do you consider it to be?"

Sister Mary, who worked for a home health agency, was visiting some home-bound patients when her car ran out of gas. Fortunately, there was a gas station a block away. So, she walked to the station to see if she could borrow a gas can and buy some gasoline. Unfortunately, the attendant told her the only gas can he owned had already been loaned out, but she was welcome to wait until it was returned.

Given her busy schedule, Sister Mary decided to walk back to her car to look for something she could use as a container. What she found was a bedpan. The nun took it to the gas station, filled it with fuel and carried it back to her vehicle. When she got to her car, she carefully poured the contents of the bedpan into the gas tank. Seeing this, a truck driver pulled alongside the car as she was emptying the last few drops into the gas tank, rolling down his window and yelled, "Sister, I sure wish I had your faith!"

Hebrews 11 has been called the Bible’s “Hall Of Faith.‘ Enshrined on the walls of this chapter are the portraits of some selected servants of the Lord who, by faith in God, lived their spiritual lives on a higher level. These heroes of the faith were the epitome of Henry David Thoreau’s statement, "If I seem to walk out of step with others, it is because I am listening to the beat of another drummer." In a world of unbelief, these Bible heroes marched to the beat of another drummer.

Faith is described as "being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). The chapter is filled with examples of those who demonstrated an incredible amount of faith in God's power and ability to accomplish great things. Inductees in the "Hall of Faith" include the likes of: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and Samuel. It's easy to see why they were included, but among them is Rahab the prostitute. Hebrews 11:30-31 says, "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient."

Rahab's entry illustrates that faith is more than feelings. James 2:26 reminds us that "faith without works is dead." Rahab's belief in the God prompted her to protect the Israelite spies when the king of Jericho sent soldiers to apprehend them. She would have been branded as a traitor had they found them hiding in her home, but her faith in God prompted her to take action.

James 2:25 says, "In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?" This passage indicates that not only did Rahab express faith in God by hiding the spies, but her actions made her righteous in God's sight. A few verses earlier, James speaks of the righteousness of Abraham, so, essentially the apostle puts Rahab in the same company with Abraham.

While living in Jericho, Rahab heard reports of God's miraculous power and she decided to believe in Him, and her faith in God made all the difference in the world. Is your faith making a difference in your life and in your world? By faith, have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Have you trusted in Him to save you and to forgive your sins? Our faith in Jesus assures us of living someday in heaven, but our faith in God can make a definite difference in our everyday lives: on our job, in our home, in our relationships. It can be a challenge living by faith, but faith in God can make all the difference in the world, just ask Rahab!