Having faith in the Almighty Lord is the finest act a Christian can display. Obedience, righteousness, humility and the rest follow from it. Obviously, it is the basis for our association with Him. Because of it, He gives grace for salvation. Yet, it is an act He wants us to display throughout our life. Many have faith and still many more speak of having it, but anyone’s faith in the Lord is effective only when it has direction and means. The Lord wants us to have perfect faith. By this I mean He wants us to be able to trust Him completely in all matters of our life. Its substance is His Word, will and promises; without them it is not established. Many are quick to define faith as seeing the unseen. Although it is not incorrect, it is frivolous and hopeless when defined without concrete understanding or evidence of it. They define it that way having not made sincere efforts for it, but with a desire to gain the reputation of having it. They substantiate it with Scriptures and stellar illustrations. Though this is well and good, sadly it does not suffice. Faith ultimately requires the instilling of life into it.
The Hebrew writer plainly says the following of faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Yet, He defines it with an absolute understanding of it. Faith is a strong and powerful character that drives a believer to remain in God’s path. It is basically the heart and soul to a believer’s life. Nothing is comparable to it. God is moved by it and in doing so, moves the heaven and earth for believers. From the moment a person believes in Jesus faith must take its shape in him. There is no enigma attached as to how it happens; it happens by listening to the Lord. Then, faith as “seeing the unseen” appears real and absolute. The concrete understanding of faith develops. When faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, there are semantics that must be understood.
- How is faith the assurance?
- What are the things one hopes for?
- What are the unseen things?
- How is faith a conviction?
Now, faith must be the assurance or substance; of this there is no doubt. Nevertheless, it must have life, if it must be the assurance. Hence, it must be instilled with life. Again, faith cannot be the assurance without having the things that need assurance. So, one must first have the things in which to hope for. Similarly, as a conviction faith must be doubtless, meaning God will bring to pass or bring to existence. As well, the unseen things include the things that are understood prior to their existence, but not yet seen and the things that are only perceived when they come into existence. All these make faith the finest act. What such faith does mean is that we have been equipped to condemn the world. Whatever men say regarding our lifestyle, actions and works, we are resolved to ignore them having put our entire focus on God’s interests. Naturally, when they are speaking of us without having the understanding of God-given faith, they are absolutely, consistently and indisputably wrong.
Having said the above, the life for our faith is in God’s will to us. He speaks to us from the Word, and we believe. For this reason, faith is the assurance of things hoped for. Then, the things to hope for are in God’s promises that keep His will to us alive. As we know, He has wonderful plans for us; all of them for our glory. They are for liberating us from the pressures of the world and flesh. And it was said, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law” (Gal. 5:18). He reveals His plans by promises and leads us to embrace them by the Spirit. Furthermore, when God fills our faith with substance, i.e. the guarantee from the Word, we are convinced that what He said regarding our future and of the things related to life will take place. And as far as the unseen things are concerned, some relate to what will have to take place, but the time of their appearance is in God’s hand; some relate to that which we have never seen or expected, but God has stored them up for us only to reveal them in the latter days. All unseen things are known in part, because of the Word He speaks to us. But the common mystery to all of them remains, i.e. the manner in which He brings them to the fore.
The Word of God gives powerful evidence as to why such finest faith is possible in us. God has planned it and destined it long ago. And it is seen in the following writing. “‘AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,’ God says, ‘THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS’” (Acts 2:17). See, hoping for things and waiting on unseen things is after all not farfetched. With God on our side the power of the Spirit is enough for giving us the unfaltering assurance and conviction, which is faith. Faith is born of God and it is begotten in us through the promise of the Spirit. One may prophesy, see visions or dream dreams, yet not one of them is possible without the Word working in us in the Spirit. God who leads us with His Word also enables us through the Spirit to imbibe from the Word the things He planned or desired for us. So, if someone comes along and ridicules your faith, give him a smile; for you know the relationship you have with God and the faith He instilled in you. One thing I can say with certainty is that God did not make His Word available to us without aim or in ignorance. Who desires us more than Him on this earth? It is none. It is He, who desires we live with Him. So, anyone who speaks about faith must speak by that which God planned and not by that which he or she feels.
Now, having seen the nature of faith, let us also see its awesomeness in us.
- God’s wish for Christ is fulfilled through us. “And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed’” (Luke 2:34). Judgments and blessings will be rendered every day.
- We have fulfillment and victory where it is due. For God said, “Your eyes will see this and you will say, ‘The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!’” (Mal. 1:5).
- We do not object to anything that is from God. We believe in everything that is written and in everything He says just as a child would. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all” (Luke 18:17).
- Remarkable things fall from our lips to God’s glory. “Then Paul answered, ‘What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus’” (Acts 21:13).