In all of God’s dealings with man, He asked for (and still asks for), sought after (and still seeks after), and required (and still requires) one thing above all else: To believe, to trust, adhere to, to have faith in Him.
There is much teaching on faith that, when measured by the Bible, is both unscriptural and even anti-scriptural. Because of the importance of the subject, it is always good to remind ourselves of the truths contained in Scripture in this great and challenging area of faith. Ponder the message of 2 Timothy 1:12: “I will always remind you of these things even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ made it clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”
The writer of Hebrews states for us the absolute importance of faith when he says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believer that He exists…” This is faith’s beginning. Faith must begin with the fact that God is – and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Nothing can be known of God or received from God unless a man or woman believes that God is – that is, that He exists as God, the Supreme Being.
Faith is one of the few words actually defined in the Bible: Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. This verse brings out various facts about faith:
- There is a difference between faith and hope.
- Hope is an attitude of expectancy concerning things that are still in the future, while faith makes “real” what is not (yet) a reality in experience. Faith has substance: it is true confidence – something definite within us.
- Hope is anchored in the realm of the mind. Hope knows it is possible, but faith waits confidently and expectantly for the promise to appear. Faith is anchored in the realm of the heart. Heart-faith always produces a definite change in those who possess it. The fundamental change is from uncertainty to certainty.
- Faith is the internal “evidence” that caused hope to become the certain conviction that things not (yet) seen are nonetheless “guaranteed” to appear. It is not wishful thinking, but rests firmly on a solid “rhema” word from the Lord that allows the spiritual inner man to say, “It is done.”
Therefore, faith deals with things not seen and is not based on our five physical senses. Faith is a spiritual sense: it touches and reaches beyond the natural senses to a place in God that natural senses cannot grasp. Faith is based on the eternal, invisible truths revealed by God’s Word. There can only be one true and proper source of faith – the Word of God. If faith is not build upon the Word, it can never stand the storms and tests of life.
The written word must become the “quickened” word to create proper faith. That is, it must become alive within our hearts, not simply recognized as true in our minds. A study of the ‘faith heroes’ of Hebrews 11 will show that each of them received faith by a word from God and were first moved or inspired to be all they were to be, then enabled to do all they did.
Faith is the channel by which we receive from God all that is needed. Faith rises to embrace as one’s own the provision from God through His grace. All spiritual life and every blessing comes to us through the “connection” of faith. Therefore, I encourage all of us to dig into the Word of God and establish a well within us. Then we can grow in our faith and progress from one level of faith to the next (“from faith to faith”) and from one place of glory to a higher place (“from glory to glory”). Let’s remember that such faith is a gift from God, and that every child of God is given such a “measure of faith”. When this faith operates in a church, ordinary people begin doing mighty exploits for the Kingdom of God, including taking back what has been lost or stolen by the enemy of our souls. One such “exploit” is taking possession of that which has been revealed to us in God’s Word as our right and privilege as followers of our Mighty Champion, the Lord Jesus Christ!