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Cabin Devo with Miss Brooke

Having Faith, Courage, and Trust in Challenges

Scripture References: 1 Samuel 14:1-14


This year I will be leading a Bible study with a campus ministry at NC State, where I go to

college. In preparing us for the semester, one of our staff members shared some encouraging

truths from a passage in 1 Samuel with a few of the first-year leaders. I don’t know what the

months ahead look like for you, whether you're doing school online, or working, or acting in

some sort of leadership position, or just staying safe at home, but I feel confident that whatever it

is, you will find this story applicable to your life right now.

In the few chapters leading up to 1 Samuel 14, Israel is preparing for war against the

Philistines, and it’s looking pretty bleak for Israel. While Saul, who is supposed to be leading the

Israelite army, sits under a tree, Jonathan decides to take action and ultimately give God a chance

to display his power and glory. Jonathan takes one of his servants with him to scope out the

Philistine camp, and when they find a good place to ambush them, Jonathan says to his

armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord

will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

I think there’s a few things we can learn from what Jonathan says here. It is obvious that

Jonathan is completely dependent on the Lord. He knows that God must act for them, otherwise

their attempt to attack the Philistines would be in vain. I’m going to go ahead and spoil the

ending by telling you that God does indeed act, and he receives the glory because of Jonathan’s

humility and dependence. While I’ve never had to face the Philistines in battle, I’ve certainly

faced challenges in my life, and we’re all facing a huge challenge with the COVID pandemic

right now. If I’m being honest, my first reaction to situations like these is usually to become

anxious, start questioning God, and run from anything that I perceive as difficult. Jonathan, on

the other hand, boldly and courageously walks into a difficult situation because he knows that

anything that makes him need God is a blessing.

When Jonathan proposes this plan of attack, his faithful armor-bearer replies, “Do all that

you have in mind...Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” Jonathan shows us how we should

act in response to challenges, and here his armor-bearer shows us what our attitude should be as

we act. Even in situations where I may have the courage to face what God has ahead of me, I

often do it with bitterness or criticism towards God, as if there could possibly be something

better for me than what God has planned. The armor-bearer humbly and joyfully submits to the

plan Jonathan proposes. Since he’s Jonathan’s servant, this may not seem like a big deal, but if

we step back and look at how crazy Jonathan’s plan seems, we can see how much the

armor-bearer must have trusted Jonathan. Jonathan and his armor bearer, just two men, were

going to attempt to ambush twenty strong Philistine warriors. What?! In a similar way, God’s

plans can often seem crazy to us, but we are still called to act in submission and reverence. It is

seen throughout the Bible that God cares as much about our heart attitude as he does about our

actions, so it is important that we seek to imitate both Jonathan’s courage and the armor-bearer’s


In this season of life, it seems that we are in the part of Jonathan’s story when he is

attacking the Philistines. Victory seems impossible, the outcome is uncertain, and having faith

can be just plain hard. But I truly believe that we will see God work in ways immeasurably more

than all we can ask or imagine because of this pandemic, just as he helped Jonathan defeat the

Philistines. Whatever is happening in your life right now, I encourage you to approach those

challenges with faith, courage, and trust in God. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold unswervingly

to the faith we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” God is faithful! You can absolutely trust

him to sustain you through any trial you face and to bear fruit from it.

Next Steps:

- Pray through Ephesians 1:18-23 and ask God to enlighten the eyes of your heart to see

him more clearly and to have a bigger view of him

- Read Hebrews 11 and consider how these people exhibited faith even when their

circumstances seemed impossible

- Consider how God may be calling you to act in faith in the coming days, weeks, or

months, and pray that he would give you a heart that longs to follow wherever he leads


Miss Brooke

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