Reflection on Risk
BY: ARCHBISHOP AFILAKA AYODELE LAWRENCE
RECTOR AND GRAND COMMANDER OF PREACH THE WORD SOLDIERS OF CHRIST SEMINARY INC.
CHAPLAINS FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA INC
I don’t know about you, but I tend to be the kind of person whom doesn’t like to be a risk taker. But I was recently reading some insights from Rev. Jeffery R. Funk and had my view point challenged
A “risk” is any actions that express us to the possibility of loss or injury. Will a wise and loving person ever take a risk since taking a risk may endanger others as well as oneself?
It depends. What if the circumstances are such that not taking a risk will result in loss or injury? And what if a successful risk would bring great benefit to many people and its failure would bring harm 1 for us to live and act in ignorance and in uncertainty about the outcome of our actions(James 4:13-15). We do not know about tomorrow. Therefore, risk is woven into the fabric of our finite lives .We can’t avoid it .
Joab was faced with the risk of going into battle while surrounded with Amalekites on one side and Syrians on the other. He declared: “Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him”(2Samuel 10;12, emphasis added). This means that Joab had made a strategic plan, yet he didn’t know how it would turn out. He had no special revelation from God on the matter. He made his decision on the basis of wisdom available to Him. He had to risk it or run for it. So, he made his decision and handed over the result to God.
Queen Esther is an example of courageous risk. When she decide to go before the king, she said, “…And if I perish, I perish” (Esther 4;15-16). She did not know what the outcome of her act would be. She had no special revelation from God. She had to take a risk or run away. She made a decision and left the consequences to God.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? They Choose to worship the true God rather than to bow before a graven image. As a result, they stood before Nebuchadnezzar before being cast into the fiery furnace. They said, “…. Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us… but if not serve your gods….” (Daniel 3:16-18, emphasis added). They took a risk. They believed God would deliver them. But even if he didn’t. They weren’t going to serve the king’s gods. They didn’t know how it would turn out. They made a decision and handed the outcome to God.
The Apostle Paul believed that his trip to Jerusalem was necessary for the cause of Christ but he didn’t know the details of what would happen there, so his friends concluded, “ let the will of the lord be done” ( acts 21:11-14.) there was risk involved. In fact, much of Paul’s life was full of risk ( 2 corinthians 11:24-28). He never knew where the next blow was going to come from. Every day he risked his life for the cause of Christ. He had two choices: run away or live with risk.
Jesus told His disciples that some of them would be put to death (luke 21:16). This put their earthly life in great uncertainty. Not all will die for the cause of Christ. But not all will live either. There is risk in being a follower of jesus. That’s why peter warned the churches of asia that they could expect mistreatment (1 peter 4:12-14).
I was recently re- reading the time in Isreal’s life when they were faced with the risk of going into the promised Land for the firsttime. Joshua and caleb said, “ Let’s go!” the others said, “We can’t do it ! ( Number 13:30-31). The people preferred the security of the way they ere used to living (even slavery in Egypt) rather than taking the risk and going into canaan to battle with giants.
So, I must conclude that risk is right. Not because God has promised success in all our ventures in His cause. John the Baptist risked speaking the truth about king Herod and Lost his head over it. Jesus praised him for his life of risk. Paul risked going up to Jerusalem to continue his ministry. He was beaten and thrown into prison for two years and the shipped off to Rome and executed there two years later. He did right to risk his life for the cause of Christ.
And now what about you and me? Are we caught in the enchantment of security, paralyzed from taking any risks for the cause of Christ? Or have we been freed by the power of God’s Spirit from the mirage of Egyptian safety and comfort? Do you men ever say with joab, “ For the sake of his name, I’ll try it! And may the Lord do what seems good to him”? Do you women ever say with Esther, “For the sake of Christ, I’ll try it! And if I perish”?
The bottom – Line assurance in all our risk-taking for the cause of Christ. It is right to that nothing will us from the love of Christ (Romans 8:35-39). This is the faith that frees us to risk for the cause of Christ. It is not heroism, or courageous self-reliance, or efforts to earn God’s favor. It is child like faith in the triumph of God’s love.
In the words of John Piper: it is right to risk for the cause of Christ. It is right to engage the enemy and say, “May the LORD do what seems good to Him.” It is right to serve God’s people and say, “ if I perish, I perish.” It is right to stand before the fiery furnace of affliction and refuse to bow down to the gods of this world.
May our gracious lord give you courage to stand firm in your faith and take a risk for his glory.