Trust God to "Build an Ark"
By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household (Heb. 11:7).
There are so many hurting, broken, stressed out or “hanging on by the skin of their teeth” people today that there are plenty of opportunities for sharing the love and faithfulness of Jesus. And that’s just in the church!
James, the half-brother of Jesus says, “Count it all joy when you encounter various trials” (Jas. 1:2). But I know, I know ... that’s easy for him to say. And then Paul tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always" (Php. 4:4). Really? Always?
Sometimes it seems that the gap between “hanging on by the skin of your teeth” and “counting it all joy is more like an abyss. How do you get to the joy side? Please?
I can’t tell you how to get there--at least not for you individually. All I can do is to share what God has taught me. Now, it might seem silly, but I think one of the biggest revelations I have ever had was while reading Hebrews 11 when it dawned upon me that Noah ... built ... an ark. (Okay, so I might not be the sharpest tool in the shed).
No ocean, no rain, just “God said" to build an ark. It looked foolish to other, and it couldn’t have felt good to face the ridicule of everyone around him. But that’s what Noah did. He took God at his Word. He believed God--not in his circumstances--and then he acted on that belief
For me, I have found that when I find myself stressed or anxious, I press into God’s Word. I remind myself of what I believe.
In fact, Romans 8:28 has been a real anchor for me (“God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes”). Similarly, Proverbs 3:5-6 has been another anchor ("Trust in the Lord always, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”). Of course, a multitude of other verses come to mind as well (Rm. 12:1-2, Jos. 1:8-9, 2 Ti. 1:7, and many more). These are cornerstones to correct and conform my thinking. Then I do my best to act on that belief. It can be as simple as sharing what I’m going through and how God has sustained me through His Word with another brother in the Lord. Even something as small as that can affirm in me the truth that God is teaching me and helping me to find joy in the "good" that is not here yet, but is coming.
Sometimes though, you must build an ark. Tithing was ark building for me. Trusting God even when I didn’t know where or when the next paycheck might be coming from. When the goesoutta was bigger than the goesinta. Lately, ark building is taking the form of investing my life in someone that makes no worldly sense. Every instinct in me and everyone I know inside or outside the church says cut this one loose. But God says, “build an ark." I wonder if this is what Noah felt like.
I wonder if God is asking you to build an ark. Wherever we are on our faith journey God is always asking us to take the next step toward Him. It’s never static. God is always wooing us to closer intimacy with Him. Almost always that involves what Henry Blackaby called “a crisis of belief." It's that moment when you must decide to trust God and to either build your ark ... or not.
Dear Father, thank you for your Word! We thank you for the Living Word, our Lord and Savior Jesus, Christ. We long to know you more. Grant us by your grace the courage and strength to “build an ark," and to trust you completely in our circumstances. Amen.
Michael and Sherry Burns
Delta First Baptist Church