I am going to take us on a deep dive into the word Faith. This will take several Blogs and I have been praying and digging into this already. Today’s Blog is not meant to answer questions but to cause you to question how you relate to your Faith. Let us dig in and see where God takes us.
What is Faith? I took the opportunity to post this question on my Facebook page and received several insightful answers. I want to share a few of the examples that were posted:
If I believe a dog is behind me, hearing a bark come from that direction only increases my faith that it is there even if I cannot turn around and see or touch it.
Faith is a muscle, the more you exercise it the stronger it becomes. I always presumed that I had faith. Then came a situation, a huge danger, in which I had no choice but to throw my faith, my hope, upon my Lord. And He rescued me!
When you stand in a dark room sitting in a chair the light in the room reveals that the chair is there. You did not need the light to know that, but it did encourage your faith that the chair was real. With the light off and the darkness all around you, doubt may very well tell you that you are sitting on a pile of clothes.
Faith is not lessened by proof but affirmed. In the kitchen it reminds me of yeast, proof(ing) gives it time to feed, expand and multiply. First time I successfully made bread I was blown away by how much the dough grew.
These are only a few of the wonderful thoughts that were posted to my page. I wish that I could include all their comments, they were so well thought out.
Hebrews 11: 1-2 New Living Translation
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.
I am going to ask a few questions to get you thinking about why you have faith, “Do you believe?”. Your answer may be, “do I believe in what or whom?” Or your answer may very well sound like this, “Yes, I believe in the Bible! I believe in God and that Jesus came to save our souls!” Do you believe that there is a promise land, that heaven is just a breath away? Why? Do you have confidence in the hope of seeing Jesus on golden streets? Can we see our final destination; you have seen funerals and people’s bodies placed in the ground. You heard the minister talk about the person walking in heaven without pain and heartache. Do you believe in eternal life?
Hebrews 10: 35-36 New Living Translation
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Here are the words of the author of Hebrews just before he pens our faith chapter in 11. Do not throw away your confidence. They believed, but life was getting in the way. Their good reputation of trusting God was being ridiculed, abused, jailed, and separated from their families. Patient endurance, the toughest words ever joined together. Patient, are you willing to wait? Maybe when life is good, we can wait it out, we can trust in God. He is asking us to be patient with endurance. I get this mental picture in my head when I hear the word endurance, a long distant runner. Running 5 minutes is endurance for me but others can run for miles up hills and down into the valleys. Their legs screaming in pain and their mind ready to shut down at any moment. If we stop running, we will not reach our goal.
Hebrews 11: 3 New Living Translation
By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
The United States has landed another rover on the Planet Mars. We are constantly striving to learn more about this universe. We wish to find knowledge that there is life out there. Worldly hope rest in the faith that we are not alone. There is an overwhelming belief that our universe was not created by a living God but by a scientific method. I tell you it takes faith in both camps to believe each side of the story. How does something come from nothing?
Romans 8: 24-25 New Living Translation
We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Salvation brings a new life, the old is dissolving and the new is growing. Our old life was built on a hope that we could handle whatever came our way. We had the plan, we had the process under control, and we had our best interest at heart. The moment comes when we realize that the life, we had built our hope on was faulty. Hope needs to be founded in righteousness, in truth, and in love. Since we were born in sin from the time of the garden, there is no righteousness, truth, or love! That life must be dissolved; it takes time to change what we naturally lean toward. So, at salvation we are given a new hope and a new vision of a more rewarding life. We must live patiently and confidently looking forward to our growth in Him.
Hebrews 12: 1-2 New Living Translation
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
The writer of Hebrews has just finished the greatest assembly of believers inside God’s word. He has walked us through men after men, ladies after ladies, and we now find ourselves at our greatest example of faith, Jesus Christ. This group of witnesses to the life of faith help us strip ourselves of every weight that trips us up. I picture the grandstands on either side of the track with thousands screaming on our success; “You can do this!”, “I fell plenty and God will be there for you!”, “I gave up everything, so can you!”. Down at the end of the track is a figure; strong and tall, He seems to be waving us in. As we get closer the figure seems totally different; His arms are stretched out and His head is bowed. We keep our eyes glued on this person who has already completed his race. He has been beaten, bloody, and scarred as you quickly look down you cannot help but see similar marks on your body. The race has been painful, life has been full of body blows. The pain is felt only when you take your eyes off the Savior. Faith grew as you placed your hope in Him. Because of the joy set before Him, He endured. You set your eyes back on Jesus and pick up the pace as you endure the miles, the heartache, and the pain. The witnesses never stop cheering you on as you read each of there own life stories.
You can do this, for it is by Grace you have been saved through Faith!