Henri Rechatin was a celebrated French tightrope walker who amazed audiences with his high-wire act as he walked across Niagara Falls in the 1970’s.
Once he crossed from the American to the Canadian side pushing a wheelbarrow with a grooved wheel. At the conclusion of this breath-taking fete, he was met with thunderous applause. Rechatin then asked a little boy who was filled with wonderment, if he believed he could push him across the Falls in the wheelbarrow.
“Yes,” replied the little fellow.
“Then, get in,” invited Rechatin.
The little boy literally ran.
Another time, he invited a volunteer in the crowd to ride piggyback across the wire. A young lady, Janych, volunteered. She later became his wife. (I suppose, if you have that much confidence in a man, you can trust him to be your husband!)
The reaction of the little boy and Janych illustrate what faith is and what it isn’t. Real faith is demonstrated in action. A theoretical faith runs when tested and tried.
Last night it was a privilege to be with the brethren at the Twin Cities Church in College Station and address the topic and answer “Faith: What is it?” Here are the main points from that lesson.
(1) Faith is trust. Confidence. Allegiance.
Faith is taking God at his word. Paul said his preaching was “not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1Cor 2:3-5).
Faith is a firm persuasion and strong conviction in the “one faith” (Eph 4:4). It is faith in “the faith” (Rom 5:1-2) that justifies us with God.
(2) Faith is the ability to see the unseen
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). An unknown writer expressed it this way: “Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.” Through the eye of faith, we see God. We see Jesus. We see beyond this world into the next life.
(3) Faith the foundation of our hope.
The writer uses the word “substance” which carries the idea of support. It is the substructure. The base. Our faith is not founded on fables, fiction or feelings. It is founded on facts. Upon the solid evidence of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1Cor. 15:1-4).
(4) Faith is the key to God’s approval.
“Without faith, it is impossible to please God,” affirmed the Hebrew writer (Heb. 11:6). God is not interested in us just following rules and reciting religious rituals. He desires a deep-seated faith in Him. His Word. And His Son.
(5) Faith is a product of our thoughts
If we become what we think about (Prov. 23:7), then our thoughts need to be focused on the Word of God. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom 10:17). When our thoughts are guided by God’s revealed righteousness, we will become people of greater faith.
(6) Faith triggers action.
Note the people of faith in Hebrews 11. They sought God and expressed their faith in activity and action.
True faith always moves you to do. To do what God commands.
(7) Faith is the yardstick by which your portion in life will be measured.
To the two blind men who cried for mercy, Jesus asked, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
“Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matt 9:27-29)
Jesus demonstrated that we receive what we believe. This is a principle seen in every area of life. It is true spiritually.
Faith is obeying when I don’t understand it.
Faith is persisting when I don’t feel like it
Faith is thanking before I receive it.
“Have faith in God” (Mk 11:22).
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman