8 Minute Read + Scripture readings

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 17
Romans 15
Lamentations 2
Psalms 33

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

1 Samuel 17:37 (CSB): “Then David said, ‘The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

You can’t read the Bible without realizing that faith is essential to being a God-follower.

  • God wanted Abraham to exercise faith in Him so He told Abraham to simply leave Ur of the Chaldees and keep walking until God told him to stop.
  • God wanted the Israelites to trust Him so He only gave them enough manna for one day, every day that they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years.
  • The victories that Israel achieved under Moses, Joshua, the judges, and then their kings were often tied to faith.
  • In the New Testament, we realize that faith is the way we receive the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
  • We also realize that faith is not only the doorway, it is also the path. Romans 1:17 says “The righteous will live by faith.”
  • Further, we come to understand that the extent to which God is willing to do some amazing things in our life is directly tied to our faith (Matthew 9:29-30).

Essentially, God has stepped into human history and asks each of us: “Do you trust Me?”

And this isn’t a small matter. If we don’t trust Him, then anything we do, no matter how wonderful it is, is displeasing to God.

Hebrews 11:6 (CSB): “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Since our trust in Him is necessary to do anything that is pleasing to Him, our cry should be for Him to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).

But, how does that happen? How does our faith grow?

It’s been my experience that God brings things into our lives that are too big for us to handle. In those times, He is giving us an opportunity to determine whether or not we will trust Him. As we trust Him, and as He works out His plan, our faith can grow. Then, when something like that happens again, it is much easier to trust the Lord because we have experienced His faithfulness.

In fact, since our faith has grown, we might be ready for an even bigger test of faith. This is what we observe in the verse that I chose as Today’s Bible Verse.

As we read in 1 Samuel 17 of a giant named Goliath, we cannot fathom what it was like to actually be in that moment. As he mocked the God of Heaven and the Israelite army, I suspect that we would have been terrified like the rest of the Israelites who observed the size of his body, his muscles, and his ego.

But, there was one young shepherd boy who was prepared to fight Goliath. David was prepared to step out in faith to fight him because David’s faith had been growing.

Listen to his words as he recounts how God had grown his faith.

1 Samuel 17:37 (CSB): “Then David said, ‘The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’”

God had grown David’s faith while he protected his sheep. When a lion or a bear approached the flock, David risked his life to protect the helpless sheep.

And when David killed those predators, he recognized that it was God who had enabled him to do that. In the words we just read, he said that “The Lord” was the one who “rescued (him) from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear.”

As David successfully killed those animals and protected his flock, and as he recognized that God was ultimately the one who enabled him to do that, his faith grew.

Obviously, as he stood on the edge of that battlefield and Goliath taunted God and the Israelite army, size didn’t matter. David may have been shorter than the Israelite soldiers around him. He may have been the only one not wearing armor.

But his faith was massive compared to everyone else’s. His trust in God was based on objective facts, on previous experiences in which he had seen God do some great things through him.

So, with that faith, he was ready to trust God for an even greater victory.

1 Samuel 17:37 (CSB): “Then David said, ‘The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.’”

We know how the story turned out, don’t we? David won the battle against Goliath.

But what is not stated explicitly in the biblical story … is that David’s faith grew again! Now, God had enabled him to kill a predatory lion, a bear, and a giant, and send a large enemy army into retreat.

As David’s faith continued to grow, he was able to trust God to do even greater things in His life.

So, what about you, friend? When life gets tough, do you spend your time questioning God? Do you spend all of your emotional resources wondering why He has allowed bad things into your life?

Don’t do that! Instead, see those trials as an opportunity to trust Him. Because as your faith grows, you will realize that things that used to cause you to fret won’t bother you anymore. And, quite possibly, you will be equipped to step out with a huge step of faith and see God do even bigger things.

So, let your prayer be the same as that of the Apostles. With the adventure that could be yours as your faith grows, let this be your prayer…

Luke 17:5 (CSB): “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith.’”

* * * * * * * * * *

Lord Jesus, I want to live by faith. I know that without faith it is impossible for any of my actions to please you. I also realize that it is only through faith that I’m really able to live out my relationship with You in the power of the Holy Spirit. So, Lord Jesus, increase my faith. Take me through experiences as I pour over Your Word to have a faith that is strong, in that it has learned to rest upon You and Your Word. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.