Consider the following question carefully: Does your faith in God keep you safe? If you said “yes” you’re not alone. For the majority of us living in West, we can expect a level of safety. We have freedom and rights where other nations have violence and oppression. Our culture has influenced our expectation of safety. The problem is this expectation can lead us to forget we are not promised safe and comfortable lives. Rather than living our best life now we should be reaching out in love, willing the good for others and fulfilling the Great Commission (Matthew 18:28-20). C.S. Lewis expressed in God In The Dock, “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” 
As Christians, we should be growing into people who follow after Jesus Christ no matter the cost to ourselves. We need to be challenging our thinking against the ways of this world because we are to be set apart. Depending on our situations where the Lord leads might cost us everything. Remember that Jesus said to His disciples “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Our cross to bear is not a difficult job or illness we must endure piously, Jesus is speaking about being willing to follow Him even unto death. That’s not comfortable and it certainly shouldn’t make you feel safe. Church tradition tells us of the twelve disciples all but one became martyrs while the last, John, lived his final years in prison. Today the persecuted church continues to grow in numbers, but every year many of them are killed for their faith. It’s almost unimaginable for Westerners to comprehend that kind of sacrifice from the safety of our free society.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1. The writer of Hebrews continues on to summarize the men and women who lived their faith boldly and are forever remembered for it in the pages of scripture. Their situations would not have been comforting, easy or safe. Think of how Moses must have felt when he was commanded to tell Pharaoh to release thousands of Hebrew slaves because the Great “I Am” said so. Moses really didn’t want to go and he tried to convince God he wasn’t the right choice. I think often we can be just like Moses, we don’t want to step out and go, and we might even have many reasons why. Yet the Lord responded to Moses with enduring words, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD? Now, therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” (Ex 4: 11-12)
There are some people today who prayerfully step out in faith despite the risks to themselves and the discomfort that it may bring. One such example is explored in the documentary Facing Darkness, which follows a Samaritan’s Purse medical team treating Ebola patients in Liberia during the outbreak of 2014. Dr. Kent Brantly contracted the deadly disease while accomplishing this very dangerous work. After the harrowing experience that nearly killed him he was asked if it was his faith that saved him. His response was very sobering. He remarked, “In a very real way it was my faith, it was our attempt to follow Christ that got me Ebola. And that changes my perspective on faith. Faith is not something that makes you safe.”
Consider the consequences if Moses or Dr. Brantly and his team had reacted in fear to God’s call by saying, “I can’t! It’s not safe.” Would we have the first five books of the Bible that Moses wrote? How would the Israelites have come out of Egypt to the Promised Land? Could more have died in the Ebola epidemic? Regrettably, many today find themselves torn between seeking safety or comfort rather than responding in faith. I think it’s important to point out that God allows us to experience the unsafe yet doesn’t abandon us to it. God never left anyone as they faced difficulties and He’s not about to start with you. Many times throughout the Bible it’s recorded that God will not leave us or forsake us (1 Kings 8:57, Psalm 37:28, Heb 13:5, John 14:18) It is possible you and I will not ever have to make such huge sacrificial decisions in our lives. But I hope if we do that we won’t shy away from the challenge and we will pick up the gauntlet boldly and be willing to serve our Lord. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians. 5:7)
Rachel McDonald | November 10, 2017