Tuesday, January 20, 2009

How Goes Your Faith

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1). Some years ago GM came out with a slogan concerning one of their vehicle lines. It stated "Buick, something to believe in." I had a Buick and let me tell you no amount of faith could have kept that thing running. Of course the slogan did not speak of Biblical faith. It was referring to Buick faith, which amounted to nothing more than hoping your Buick would last a little longer than the competitors brand. Actually our faith is no better than the object of our faith. The New Testament word for faith points to a personal commitment. The English word trust could be a better translation of the Greek word. Trust speaks of investment or commitment of oneself. The reality (objectively) of things hoped for lies in confident trust in God. This is quite different than the statement made by the little boy "Faith is believing things we know aren't true." Faith is our way of knowing that certain sure things that have not yet happened, will happen. How do we know these things are certain? Because God said so in His Word. Just as certain as Jesus came once, He will come again. Faith is living life on the assumption that what God said will happen. The faith life does not wait for human evidence or proof, but accepts (trusts) the Word of God as totally sufficient evidence. This kind of faith wins us the approval of God. In God's economy He adjusts the worldly statement "Seeing is believing" to "Believing is confident knowing, even when you cannot see, because the One who promised is faithful (reliable). We have a living faith that overcomes the difficulties of life, a faith that trusts in that which is hoped for (what God has promised in the Holy Scriptures). Able of old differed from his brother Cain in that he placed his complete trust in God and his unlimited mercy. He offered his (the correct) sacrifice in the spirit of faith. God rejected Cain's sacrifice because it was not brought from a trusting heart (thus the wrong sacrifice). That's why "Without faith it is impossible to please Him." Abraham was a man of faith. He obeyed God and left the land of Ur of the Chaldees and became a migrant, traveling in foreign lands. While he believed God had given him a land of promise he did not run ahead of God's timing and when he experienced hardship he never tried to go back to Ur. He never stopped his journey with God. He and his wife Sarah believed they would receive a promised son. In their old age, when they were both "Dead", in a reproductive sense, God gave them a son. Consider reading (Hebrews 11) the faith chapter. You will always find someone in that great chapter you can identify with. It could be Gideon who needed a sign that the Lord was truly with him. It might be the ones titled "Others" who were persecuted and mistreated. It could be Rahab and Samson, in spite of their missteps they both are listed in God's great hall of faith. Why are they commended? Because they committed themselves to God, they believed Him, they took Him at this Word and acted accordingly. Are you trusting the Lord today? If not, why not? Try spending some time with Christ in His Word "Faith comes by hearing and that by the Word of God." Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.

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