Faith to Face Defiant Giants
By David Faust
Do your problems look too big to overcome? The Israelites faced a towering foe so terrifying that his name, Goliath, has come to symbolize something huge and intimidating. For 40 days straight, the taunts of the defiant giant rang in the soldiers’ ears every morning when they got up and every night when they went to bed.
In a classic mismatch, a young shepherd stepped forward. David, looking naïve and vulnerable, strode into battle dressed like a farmhand and armed with a sling and five smooth stones. By contrast, well-armed Goliath clanked like an unstoppable tank when he walked, and a shield bearer stood in front to protect him. If they were taking bets in Las Vegas, David faced overwhelming odds. But this battle wasn’t just about swords and spears.
THE DIFFERENCE FAITH MAKES
David’s victory over Goliath compels us to examine our faith. How will we face the challenges that confront us in the church, in our culture, and in our personal lives? Will we walk into battle armed merely with human resources and advice, or with the wisdom and power of God?
Faith risks failure when the world says, “Play it safe.”
Faith focuses on character when the world says, “Keep up appearances.” “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
Faith perseveres when the world says, “Give up.” If you feel crushed by the load you’re carrying at work, a health problem that won’t go away, or a heavy leadership responsibility you bear, don’t despair. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Faith steps out when the world says, “Stay put.” Abraham left his home when God told him to move. Joshua and Caleb insisted, “We can conquer the Promised Land,” while faithless others warned, “No, we’re like grasshoppers compared to the giants who live over there!” Faith in God stirred David to fight Goliath. It motivated James and John to leave their fishing boat and follow Jesus. Faith isn’t reckless, but when God’s call is clear, it gives us the boldness to step out.
Faith dreams about tomorrow when the world says, “Live for today.” At the end of your life, what will matter most? “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
Faith thinks about others when the world says, “Focus on yourself.” Paul commended the Macedonian Christians because, despite their own severe trials and extreme poverty, they considered it a privilege to share with God’s people (2 Corinthians 8:2-3). Instead of giving up, they upped their giving!
Faith relies on God’s power when the world says, “Do it yourself.” God does more than we can measure, ask, or imagine—not by human ingenuity, but “according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Not so we will gain recognition for ourselves, but so he will be glorified—and not just today, but “throughout all generations, for ever and ever” (3:21).
Jesus wore the messianic title “Son of David.” With the shepherd boy’s blood flowing through his veins, he declared that faith can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). And that includes the molehills we face today.
Personal Challenge: What giant-sized problem confronts you right now? What difficult situation looks too large to overcome on your own? Ask God to increase your courage and help you to face the challenge with the strength he provides.