Do you remember Abraham from the book of Genesis? He was the father of Isaac. But did you know that Abraham is your father also? Here is what Paul has to tell us:
Even as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.” Know therefore that those who are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:6-9.
So do you have this faith? In Luke 18:8 Jesus asks his disciples, “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” That’s a good question. Let us consider our faith.
Do you have faith? Is your faith something that can support you in times of difficulty and opposition? Is your faith genuine? For some faith is simply a mental ascent to the statements and teachings of Christ. Such people can say, “I believe in God.” But real faith must go beyond this. You see, when you truly believe in something then you will act upon that belief. Again and again as we read the New Testament, its writers call us to move beyond just believing in God, to relying on Jesus, The Son of God, with our whole heart as in John 1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Those who express this genuine faith are able to have a relationship with God through Jesus, “That if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation,” Romans 10:9-10. Through this confession we experience a spiritual birth. We become “born again” and now have a new ability to live according to God’s commandments and we can find fulfillment and satisfaction in our lives then we could not have without God.
Now, does faith play any other role in the life of a believer? Yes, God wants his people to live by faith daily: Paul says in Romans 1:17, “But the righteous shall live by faith.” Let us look at the examples of the apostles Paul and John. Paul said in Galatians 2:20 – “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.” Paul’s former life was over and he was now living a new life by faith
The Apostle John stated in 1 John 5:4-5, “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” What John is saying is that we who know Christ have an advantage over the world and this advantage is through faith in Jesus.
We can make the most these promises for several reasons. Remember that God loves. He loved us so much that he sent Christ to die for us as Paul tells us in Romans 5:8, “But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Also, God is interested in every aspect of our lives: Jesus tells us in Luke 12:6-7, “Aren’t five sparrows sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.” And most importantly, God responds to our faith: Hebrews 11:6 tells us that, “Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.”
Now the world has taught us to try to accomplish all that we do in our own strength. For example, when we watch or listen to the news of the day we are always told about the current problems of our world. God is never mention as the solution to these problems. From the news broadcaster’s point of view we are left to our own wisdom and our own resources. What can be done if the situation is hopeless? But faith does not know these limitations. The author of the book of Hebrews reminds us to focus on Jesus, our example of how to operate in faith, “…looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2. When Jesus’ disciple found a task to difficult, Jesus told them in Luke 18:27, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
So whatever problem, difficulty or limitation we face we need to develop the habit of applying our faith to the situation. For us to operate in faith it is necessary to study God’s word, the Bible. As Paul states in Romans 10:17, “…So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” God, the Father, will speak to us through his word and show us what he is doing, just as he did with Jesus: John 5:19, “Jesus therefore answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise’,” Plus, we have the spirit of God to guide us, “But as it is written, ‘Things which an eye didn’t see, and an ear didn’t hear, Which didn’t enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him.’ But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God,” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.
Jesus spent time with Father to find out what the father was doing. We need to do the same. Take, for example Moses and the Israelites when they were being pursued by the Pharaoh of Egypt and his army:
When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid. The children of Israel cried out to THE LORD. They said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way, to bring us forth out of Egypt? Isn’t this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?’ For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.” Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them again. THE LORD will fight for you, and you shall be still.” Exodus 14:10-14
Every one was in a panic except for Moses. Why? Moses had spent time with the Lord. Moses knew that God would fulfill his word.
In the closing days of Jesus’ ministry on earth He reminded his disciples of His close relationship with His Father and how that through faith in Him, they would be able to accomplish far greater things:
Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I tell you, I speak not from myself; but the Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Most assuredly I tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father. John 14:10-12
Yes, we will be able to accomplish great things because Jesus is now with this Father. All we have to do is find out what is it that the Father is doing. But first, we need to examine our own lives. Are we living by faith daily? Are we learning to do everything by faith rather than relying only on our own strength. Because, if we are living our lives in our own strength and not using faith then how can we accomplish any great thing? Jesus said that apart from Him we can do nothing. We must exercise our faith even with the small things. Then we with have sufficient faith to do the greater than Jesus speaks of.
Now, how can we use faith in our daily lives? As I already said, we need to spend time in God’s word to in order to know the Father better, to know what the He is doing and to increase our faith. And each day we need to pray about our task and activities believing that God with guide us and strength us for what lies ahead.
We need to receive by faith what we believe for:
Jesus answering said to them, “Have faith in God. For most assuredly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and doesn’t doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says. Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. Mark 11:22-25
Plus, we must not hold any unforgiveness in our hearts.
We also need confidence when we approach God, knowing that Jesus can identify with our weaknesses; thus, He is willing to help us in time of need:
We need to confidently depend on the grace that God provides us. Grace is his unmerited favor toward us:
For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need. Hebrews 4:15,16
God’s grace is always sufficient for us. Jesus spoke to Paul as the Apostle sought relief from the thorn in his flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:9 saying “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
And with our faith we will need to practice patience. God is not in a hurry and He is never late. Patience, according to the writer of Hebrews is needed, “We desire that each one of you may show the same diligence to the fullness of hope even to the end, that you won’t be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises,” Hebrews 6:11-12.
So, we should never give up believing what God has told us he will do.
Now, if you determine to live a life of faith and obedience to God you will experience suffering because the world and Satan will be against you as Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” And Paul taught us, “Through many afflictions we must enter into the Kingdom of God…,” Acts 14:22. But in Romans 8:37 The Apostle Paul tells us, “No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
How can we be more than conquerors? First we need to accept the truth that God loves us. The love God has for each of us needs to become real in our lives. Then we need to bring our lives in harmony with His will though obedience. Finally, we need to learn how to use our faith, to trust God every day, expecting Him to guide, protect, strengthen and take care of us so that no matter what happens we do not feel that God has abandon us. We will be confident involved in our situation because of our continual walk of faith.
So the challenge I leave with you today is to walk everyday by faith. Be active in bringing to God all the things that you deal with. Stop relying on your on ideas and abilities, because they are limited. Faith will connect you with God’s resources that are without limits. He is your source! “For everything spoken by God is possible,” Luke 1:37.
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God,” 1 John 5:4-5.
Copyright © 2003-2011 by Alan Pasho, www.disciplepedia.org. All rights reserved.
Scriptures taken from the Word English Bible (WEB)