4. WHAT IS FAITH?
There are all kinds of crazy notions about Christian faith such as: it is, “blind”, “unreasonable”, “superstitious”, “subjective” -- that in short you commit a kind of “intellectual suicide”.
Nothing could be further from the truth. You do not commit intellectual suicide when becoming a Christian! Yet “faith” is very important!
The Bible says,
• “Without faith it’s impossible to please God...” (Hebrews 11:6)
• “The righteous shall live by faith”. (Rom. 1:17),
• “You are Saved by grace through faith ...” (Eph. 2:8)
• “...above all, take up the shield of faith ..” (Eph. 6:16)
Look at it this way- there are two kinds of faith: one we could call General faith (which every person on planet earth knows a lot about); and the other is Biblical faith.
First let’s consider General faith. Most decisions we make on a daily basis fall under the category of general faith. These are choices or decisions we make concerning our lives without having full understanding or disclosure, yet we trust we that we are going to be just fine. Take for example, when we drive a car, take a prescription from a doctor, fly on a plane, etc.... 99.99% of the decisions that we make each day (some 35,000 of them) are based on general faith we have in other people or things.
Then there is Biblical faith-- which is when a person is being informed by the One who does know everything - Almighty God!
“Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please”(Isaiah 46:9-10).
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:4-5).
You can see why the Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17)
Biblical faith is like a child in the backseat of a car trusting Mom and Dad to make the right decisions in order to get to the right destination. Biblical faith has a Person that it trusts in. The Person is the True and Living God! That’s why the Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
The opposite of faith is doubt. Doubt is having a lack of assurance and confidence that God will keep His promises. Doubt is not believing what God will do. It is therefore a choice to live in uncertainty. Yet everything that God has said is true and will come to pass! The Lord wants us to believe this, and when we do it’s called faith and faith becomes the funnel through which God blesses our lives!
So, what are some of the promises that God has given to us that He wants us by faith to believe and accept to be true?
Let’s boil down some great “God-Guarantees” …
1. He will provide your needs. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:19)
2. He will prosper us for our highest good. “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly…” (Ps 84:11)
3. He will bless you with His presence. “…how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13)
4. He will hear the prayer of the heart that turns to Him. “…everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
5. He will work out His plan in your life making lemonade out of lemons. “...we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Every day your faith will be tested on whether God will provide for your needs, bless you with His intimate presence and work out His plan for your life. Trust the Lord! Believe Him today. Accept His Word as true! Stand on His guarantees – His promises! As you do, it will impact your thinking, your outlook and the way you live. When you believe Him and His word you will “please” the Lord and experience His approval and blessing.