When is the last time you took a risk?

Some people love the adrenaline that comes from taking a risk, but many prefer to live in safety all the time. Some people have no problem doing things others would consider to be “crazy” while most would rather stick to the things that are certain or sure. That’s a natural part of our human personalities and it’s all well and good, but the problem is that we carry that over into our faith. We don’t take risks. We always play it safe.

Hebrews 11:1 says,

“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”

If we claim to have faith in God, that verse tells us that we need to live as if we believe with all our hearts that God will always come through for us. He never backs out on a promise. He never fails to deliver on a guarantee.

Then what we need to do next is extremely important: we need to be willing to take a risk by putting ourselves in a place where we can’t succeed on our own, and if God doesn’t come through, we fail. We need to be willing to say to God, “If you don’t make this happen, I’m at least going to look really stupid, or at most this may cost me dearly.”

There’s a Bible story in Matthew 14 that you’ve probably heard about a time Jesus’ disciples were on a boat and they saw someone walking across the water toward them. They didn’t realize it was Jesus. They said, “It’s a ghost!” This is pretty sad, since literally the last thing we read in Matthew 14 before this story is that they had watched him first-hand turn five loaves of bread and two fish into enough food to feed thousands and thousands of people. You’d think they’d have known that Jesus was capable of some supernatural mind-blowing things, but they still assumed that their eyes were either playing tricks on them, or this was something like a ghost.

But what’s really amazing is that, with just a few words from Jesus, Peter takes a life-changing risk. Jesus told the disciples that He was the one walking on the water. Peter said, “Prove it. Tell me to walk to you.” So Jesus said, “Bring it.” Peter gets out of the boat.

And walks on water.

And takes his eyes off of Jesus.

And sinks.

But he took the risk, and even when he failed, Jesus rescued him. Peter said, “Jesus, if you don’t come through, if this isn’t really you in these waves with me, I’m either going to die or at least look like a complete fool.” He had faith in the midst of a seemingly impossible situation. He stepped out in faith. And even when things didn’t completely go as he planned or hoped, Jesus saved him, because Jesus always comes through.

When is the last time you took a risk like this one? When is the last time you went out on a limb? If you aren’t regularly operating outside your means in life, then you aren’t exercising your faith. You aren’t living and acting in trust and obedience to God. Why should you be so concerned about this?

  1. It will grow your faith. When you say “Prove it” to God, He says “Bring it.” When you let Him show you that He never fails, you will trust Him more in the future.
  2. God will get glory. When people see things happening in your life that can’t be explained in human terms, the only possible conclusion is, “God must have done this.” Let God get the glory from your life by living in a way that you have to rely on him, and let others see it.

What risk are you going to take? Do you believe that Jesus is with you in the waves? What decision do you need to move out of your safety zone to make? Should you step up by giving some money to help someone, even if things are tight? Should you make a career move that might seem foolish to some but will allow you to serve God in a greater way? Ask God to show you a risk you need to take, ask Him for strength to make the move, and then get out on that limb and let God come through. When we’re acting in obedience to God, it’s our willingness to potentially fail that God can be made famous through our God-given success.