By David Faust
Any experienced traveler knows the feeling. You stare at the departure board in the airport, dismayed as the dreaded word Delayed appears beside one flight after another. Soon a 20-minute weather delay turns into an hour, and you calculate how much time you need to catch your connecting flight.
Coming in for a Landing
Finally you board the aircraft along with your fellow travelers, only to wait longer as raindrops pelt the plane. The faces of the weary flight crew tell you it’s going to be a long night. Eventually you arrive at midnight, two hours after your connecting flight departed. You catch a few hours of sleep at an overpriced hotel, then take the shuttle back to the airport early the next morning.
Strangely, things feel better as the new day begins. The weather is clear now. The morning flight leaves on time. The previous night’s frustrations dissolve into order and calm. You close your eyes and doze.
You awake to hear the announcement, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have been cleared for landing.” Pulling your seat into its upright position, you look out the window and see nothing but a solid layer of clouds. The thought crosses your mind, How can the pilot know we’re in the right place to land when he can’t see anything below? You ponder the marvels of radar, global positioning systems, and computerized communication. When a pilot cannot see the ground, he must trust his instruments. The dials and gauges in the cockpit show the way home, and the pilot can trust the voice of the air traffic controller. You land smoothly—right on schedule this time.
Buying Real Estate in a Condemned Land
Living by faith isn’t just a trite expression. It’s how life is meant to be lived. When I was young I needed faith to face the future. Where should I go to college? What job should I pursue? Whom would I marry?
Now with more years behind me than ahead, I find that faith is still required—maybe even more than before. How can I bear maximum fruit for God during this next season of my life? Will I stand the test and keep the faith as I move through whatever physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual challenges lie ahead?
God told Jeremiah to buy a field and the prophet faithfully obeyed, dolling out 17 shekels of silver, signing and sealing the deed, and having the legal documents properly witnessed and sealed in a clay jar for safekeeping (Jeremiah 32:6-14). It’s not unusual for someone to buy a piece of real estate, but in this case it was remarkable because God had told Jeremiah repeatedly that his hometown was on the verge of destruction by the Babylonians.
Why purchase property in a condemned land? Why invest your resources in a place that’s destined for destruction? Buying the field was an act of faith. It expressed the prophet’s confidence in the Lord’s promise that someday, “Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land” (v. 15). Jeremiah obeyed because he trusted the voice in the control tower. In spite of the pain his nation faced, there were better times ahead—and no amount of clouds could block the way home.
1. Do you trust God when you can’t see how things will turn out?
2. How are you currently living by faith?
David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2012, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.
The Lookout’s Bible Reading Plan for October 18, 2015
Use this guide to read through the Bible in 12 months. Follow David Faust’s comments on the highlighted text in every issue of The Lookout.
1 Peter 1:1-9
1 Peter 1:10-16
1 Peter 1:17-25
1 Peter 2:1-8
Song of Solomon 1
1 Peter 2:9-17
Song of Solomon 2
Jeremiah 47, 48
1 Peter 2:18-25
Song of Solomon 3