What is Faith
What is Faith
What is Faith?
Today like never before we are facing challenging situations. Our economy continues to face the unknown. Each day people are faced with the fear of losing their homes and jobs. With unemployment already at its highest a government that has failed us as a country, the tragic cases of suicide, while the enemy of this world continues to hold many people trapped, worried, and void of hope. It appears that many today lack faith. Or perhaps they have placed their faith in the wrong things. Let’s take a look at what the Bible teaches us about faith.
Do You Lack Faith?
Are you one of the many people living in fear, worrying about what tomorrow will bring. Have you accepted Jesus as your “Lord and Savior?” Do you believe that God loves you and his plans for you are good and not evil? That God is your provider (Jehovah Jirah)? Do you not trust that “all things work together for the good of those who love Christ Jesus?” (Romans 8:28). We have all been challenge along these lines at one time or another yet the Bible tells us that we need to have faith. “That without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Hebrew 11:6).
What is Real Faith?
Does the Bible give us a direct definition of Faith? The book of Hebrews is known as the “faith chapter,” there we find the stories of men such as Abraham, who was known as the Father of faith. This is a great book to read for surely it will strengthen ones faith. In Hebrews 11:2, the author tells us, “For by Faith, the Elders, obtained a good report.” Does this mean that because they read Hebrews, their faith was inspired? Let’s look at what Hebrew 11:1 has to say, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” There are two key points in this passage and they are “faith is the substance” and “faith is evidence.”
First let’s look at “Faith Is the Substance.” The New Testament was originally written in “Greek,” the Greek word translated “substance” in Hebrews 11:1 is “hypostasis,” literally, “that which stands under.” In other words faith is “assurance” it is when one truly believes that whatever they have asked for in prayer, God is going to give it to them.
“Faith Is Evidence.” The Greek word translated “evidence” is “elegchos” which means “conviction.” How does “evidence” relate to ones faith? Let’s look at it this way. If someone is on trial for a crime, there must be evidence, something tangible that can be proven. Without any evidence there can be no “conviction.” In other words “faith” real faith is backed by evidence. That “evidence” is the word of God. God has given us many promises in the Bible, the word of God, is our evidence that God will do what he promised He would do. “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” (Hebrews 6:18).
What Faith Is Not
In my early years as a Christian I believed that my faith involved feelings. If I could not perceive it through my five senses, then it wasn’t real. The human mind receives and processes information through physical knowledge, and since faith is spiritual not physical, I was forced to rely on my five senses to guide me. In other words I trusted that which I could see. Until the Holy Spirit revealed the truth to me in 11 Corinthians 5:7, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”
True faith means that as Christians we are not to look at our circumstances, but look beyond to what God has promised us in His word. When we become Christians we can no longer allow our physical being to guide us, this very concept, is foreign to our human mind. I have had to unlearn and continue battle my mind regarding negative thoughts and ideas by replacing them with the promises of God found in his (word).
The Bible tells us “they that worship the Father must worship Him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). You may be asking, as I did, how do we worship God in Spirit and truth? Through the disciplines of prayer, fasting, studying the word of God, and meditation. When we incorporate these disciplines in our life we feed our spirit which allows us to see through our spiritual eyes the things of God.
The Just Shall Live By Faith
According to Habakkuk 2:4 the author says, “the just shall live by faith.” This is a strong statement in regards to being a Christian. It tells me that God from the beginning has always required us to live by faith. Faith is the substance of our being, it pleases God, for us to have faith. Hebrews 10:38 ‘but if any man drawback, My soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
Test and Temptation
It has not been easy for me to practice faith and stand on God’s promises. After seventeen years I continue to experience lessons involving me to have faith. God continues to test my faith and the devil continues to tempt me by bringing doubt to my mind that God doesn’t care. A few months ago, I lost my income, it wasn’t a small income but a very significant amount of money $12,000 a month. It happen so fast, I was not at all prepared for this, someone of a sneak attack. We had just purchased a new home, things seem to be going very well, but the devil never plays fair. Well if things couldn’t get any worse, my good credit has been shot; I worked so hard to establish paying my bills on time. If that doesn’t beat all my savings account is depleted, health insurance gone, and a $700 car note that I am struggling to pay. Like Job I have had to face remarks from family and friends such as “Where is your God now. You have given all your money in building funds to the church, and tithes and offerings, and look what it got you nothing.” Like Job, I have held on trusting and defending God’s promises to me, yet each day I am faced with some other dilemma. Like Job I asked God, “What have I done so bad that I have been placed in this situation?” Only to be reminded like Job that all power is in God’s hands.
I don’t know what God is up to, but I have learned that God is faithful and just, and that he will deliver me no matter how dark the clouds are in my life right now. Perhaps in sharing my testimony, someone’s faith is being strengthened, it’s my prayer always that no matter what happens in my life that God will always be glorified.