Faith has become the object of ridicule in America today. Particularly Christianity.
Our Vice President, Mike Pence, has been mocked for his faith on numerous occasions. In the wake of the recent school shooting those who have offered prayers for the hurting have been received with sarcasm, scorn, and satire in some quarters. Various talk shows and their hosts have spewed anti-Christian bigotry without any repercussions from the networks
The fact is everyone has faith. Faith in something. Or faith in someone. A Houston preacher, John Bisagno, put it this way:
“Faith is the heart of life. You go to a doctor whose name you can’t pronounce. He gives you a prescription you cannot read. You take it to a pharmacist you have never seen. He gives you medication you do not understand — and yet, you take it.”
This morning while reading Hebrews 11, I was remind again of the value and virtue of faith. Faith is the quality of God’s greats. And they too were mocked, ridiculed, and scorned. Some were beaten. Others stoned. And some were martyred for their faith.
This chapter defines faith. Illustrates faith. And provides the incentive to courageously pursue the path of faith.
What is faith? The first verse offers the answer. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” By definition “faith is a firm persuasion, a conviction based upon hearing. Faith is trust. Confidence. Allegiance.”
Augustine put it this way: “What is faith unless it is to believe what you cannot see.”
A preacher once asked a poor and uneducated woman, “What is faith?” She replied, “I am ignorant, and I cannot answer well, but I think it is taking God at His word.” I think she answered well. And accurately. Faith is believing when I don’t see it.
Faith is obeying when I don’t understand it.
Faith is giving when I don’t have it.
Faith is persisting when I don’t feel like it.
Faith is thanking before I receive it.
Faith is trusting, even if I don’t receive it.
Faith is the Substance of our Hope.
The word “substance” carries the idea of support. It literally means, “placing under, or place a thing under.” It is the foundation. The substructure. The base.
Our faith is not founded upon fables, fiction, or feelings. It is founded on facts. The fact that God is. The fact the Jesus is the Son of God. The fact of His death, burial, and resurrection. We have solid evidence in the accuracy of the Word and the promises of God. The Bible says there is “one hope” (Eph 4:4). That hope is in Christ. It is a living hope. An eternal hope. A heavenly hope.
If you have a problem with faith, remember “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17). Get back into the Word. Read Hebrews 11. Study the men and women of faith.
Faith is the ability to see the unseen. 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.
Faith triggers action. Note the people of faith in Hebrews 11. They sought God and expressed their faith not just in words, but in deeds.
True faith always moves you to do. To do what God commands
In a world that has lost its way and its faith in God, do not be dismayed, discouraged or dissuaded from your faith.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith” (1 Jn. 5:4)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman