By Beth Green
“Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
Many years ago, as a college student, I memorized this verse as part of a discipleship Bible study. Little did I know how God would use this verse in years to come. There is something about memorization that is so beneficial – not only does it set our minds on things above but also comes back to us when we truly need it.
In the years that followed, my faith walk would be tested. Never did I ever dream that God would call Kelly and I into an area of our lives where there were no safety nets but GOD! Leaving the consistency of being on staff in a church and placing Kelly into full time evangelism caused my uncertain heart to realize just how little I knew about true faith. Yes, at the age of 12, I had surrendered my life to Christ by FAITH. But I never had any idea at that time how God would work this verse into my soul, like a baker kneading bread.
One of the aspects of this verse is the reality that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith. We say we have faith, but then when we are put out to do something that seems impossible, do we totally collapse into His arms, allowing Him to bring about what seems impossible?
Last year, I had the privilege to see a woman walk through the exercise of this very verse. She came to me and told me that she felt God was calling her to go to Uganda. She began to prepare support letters to send out to friends and family to raise support for her trip. With faith and dependence on God, she did all that she could do to try to help in the process. She knew that God had called her to go, but she kept trying to think in the back of her mind how she and her husband might try to come up with a way to make it happen. There would be sacrifices indeed but she thought, “If my letters don’t bring in any funds, this is what we will try to do.”
As time went by and the deadline date began to approach, she became concerned. She had only received gifts from two people out of the 50 support letters. This is when God’s magnificent plan began to take place. The faith walk she was facing was a true reality and she was “all in” since God had made His will known to her to go.
First, funds came through a garage sale which she and other women going to Uganda put together. Church members had gotten involved and given them items to sell. A remarkable thing took place that Saturday in April – these women raised over $2000 for their trip to Uganda through this garage sale! Funds were split between them all and more money was put into this woman’s account.
Next, strangers began to give towards her trip! A Muslim man who owned a convenience store gave towards her trip. A man who heard her talking about her trip to someone else approached her and gave her funds! She ran into a former coworker who had moved to another job, and he asked her about what she had been doing. She shared with him about her opportunity to go to Uganda and he gave! Her husband’s golf partner asked to participate in helping her go!
God began to work as only He can do! But then came the most unexpected! She had ordered some items off the internet for Uganda and was concerned about these items which were put on back order. She called the internet company and shared her concern. The internet company said they would investigate and asked her why she needed them so soon. She was able to share about her trip to Uganda and what she would be doing while there. A day or so past and then she received a call back from this person. This person assured her that the order would be received soon and told her to expect something in the mail very soon. An envelope came to her home with a card. Inside the card were over 15 signatures from workers at that internet company and a $500 check for her trip!! On top of that, two of the signatures were from people she had formerly worked with in another company! GOD proved to her that He truly is “the rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.” What seemed impossible became possible because she allowed God to do what He is so good at doing! She went last year and has already committed to go again this year, allowing herself once again to be placed in this place of total dependency on His provision.
How great is our God? Too often we try to manage things ourselves and only allow Him to do what we can conceive. But God wants us to believe Him, trust Him, allow ourselves to be flung out vessels with no options but HIM! This is when He works in the most remarkable ways to reward those who seek Him with empty arms.