10 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 17:1–18:4
John 8:21-30
Psalm 111:1-10
Proverbs 15:11

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

1 Samuel 17:37 (NLT): “‘The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!’ Saul finally consented. ‘All right, go ahead,’ he said. ‘And may the Lord be with you!’”

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 God told him to simply leave Ur of the Chaldees and keep walking until He 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.
  • Israel’s victories under Moses, Joshua, the judges, and then their kings were often tied to faith.
  • In the New Testament, we realize that faith is how we receive the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
  • Faith is not only the doorway into salvation, it is also the path. Romans 1:17 (CSB) 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 God, then nothing we do, no matter how wonderful it is, is pleasing to Him.

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT): “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

Since our trust in Him is necessary to do anything that is pleasing to Him, our cry should be for Him to “show us how 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 allowing us 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 today.

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 Goliath mocked the God of Heaven and the Israelite army, I suspect that we would have been terrified like the rest of the Israelites. The size of his body, his muscles, and his ego might squish our faith in God.

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 (NLT): “‘The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from 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 save the helpless sheep.

And when David killed those predators, he recognized that God 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 claws of the lion and 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 more significant victory.

1 Samuel 17:37 (NLT): “‘The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from 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! 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 trusted God to do even greater things in His life.

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 once caused you to fret won’t bother you anymore. And, quite possibly, you will be equipped to take a massive 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 (NLT): “The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Show us how to increase our faith.’”

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Susanna Marsiglia on Unsplash