Faith Over Fear

Because of a famine in Canaan, Abram took things into his own hands instead of asking God for direction. He decided to go to Egypt and live for a little while.
His decision put him and his wife in danger. Because Sarai was such a beautiful woman, Abram feared that the Egyptians would kill him. Abram made another decision without consulting God – he lied.
At this point, Abram’s fear was stronger than his faith. His fear of starvation was greater than his faith that God would provide, and his fear of being killed by the Egyptians was greater than his faith that God would protect him. Abram convinced Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that he would be treated well and his life would be spared.
Apparently Sarai’s safety wasn’t a part of Abram’s plan. Although Abram was treated well with gifts of livestock and servants, Sarai was taken by the Pharoah as his wife. Sometimes when we stray from the path that God has set for us or when our faith is weak, we are not directly affected. We may even benefit from our poor choices. But those same choices could be hurting those close to us.
Fortunately, God did not allow Abram’s poor choices to keep Him from the plans He had for Abram. God handled the Pharoah, and Abram was able to leave with Sarai and everything he had gained while in Egypt.
If Abram had stayed in Canaan, where God had led him, his faith would have grown stronger as God provided for him. Instead he allowed fear to take control, leading him away from God, and even leading to sin.
How often do you allow fear to steer you off course?
You start out on the right path, with the best intentions in your heart, and then things get hard and you are afraid of what may happen, so you start looking for an easier path to take – without asking God what direction you should be heading…
But God doesn’t give up on us when we make mistakes. God shows grace in our weakness and He still has plans in store for us, even after we’ve made choices that lead us away from Him.
If you are trying to follow God’s plan for your life, you have to stop allowing fear to trigger a change of plans. Use your fears to trigger your faith instead.

Dear Lord,
Please help me to remember to seek your direction when I’m faced with a problem or when I have a big decision to make. I want to always stay on the path that You have set for me, but sometimes I lose sight of what is important, and I worry too much. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in the struggle and I try to find my own way out. Please help me to remember that even when I’ve made mistakes and end up feeling so far from You, that You will still open Your arms and pull me back to where You want me to be. Thank You for showing Your grace and not giving up on me in my weakness.
Amen


Today’s scripture

Genesis 12:10-20 NIV
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

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Protect the Vulnerable

As Noah’s story comes to a close, we learn of a clash between him and his youngest son. Noah has played the part of a hero in this story – God had mercy on him because of his tremendous faith and blessed him because of his show of respect and gratitude. But here we see a more human side to Noah, that is a little more relatable.
Despite being a righteous man and finding favor in the eyes of The Lord, Noah wasn’t perfect. He had a little too much wine and found himself in an embarrassing situation.
While he was passed out drunk inside his tent, his son, Ham, saw his nakedness. Rather than covering his father and trying to protect him from shame, Ham went to tell his brothers.
Shem and Japheth went into the tent and covered their father, walking backward with their faces turned away, out of love and respect for Noah.
When you love someone, you want to protect them from harm, not expose their faults. You don’t gossip with others about that person’s weakest moments. Gossip is hurtful. No one deserves to have someone taking delight in retelling their misfortunes or to have their faults exposed.

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And that’s exactly what happened in Noah’s situation. His relationship with Ham was never the same. He became so angry with him, that he cursed his own grandson.
Our first instinct should be, “How can I help?” – Not, “Who can I tell about this?”

Dear God,
When I see someone in a distressful situation, please give me the courage to step up and protect them, in a respectful way, without hesitation. Remind me that it isn’t any of my business how they got into this mess and it is not my job to determine if their own poor choices led them to their current circumstances. I know that You want me to show them love and respect, and that by doing so, I will honor You. Please surround my daughter with people who have her best interest at heart and will shield her from harm or embarrassment when she makes mistakes.
Amen