This week at the Wellandport church of Christ in Ontario, Canada, I will be participating in their summer VBS teaching the adult class. Our theme revolves around faith. As I’m looking over today’s lesson, “The Challenge To See,” I’m reminded of this story.
One night a family’s house caught fire and they were forced to run outside. However, the fire blocked their path to the upstairs bedroom where their son was sleeping. The father yelled for the son to open his bedroom window.
On the ground below the boy’s father he knew his son had to jump to save his life. “Jump!” hollered the frantic father, “Jump, I’ll catch you!”
All the frightened little fellow could see, however, was smoke, flames and the darkness of the night. He was scared to jump.
His father kept pleading, “Jump! I’ll catch you.”
But his worried son protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.”
“That ok,” his father reassured, “I can see you. And that’s all that matters.”
Our word of the week is “faith.”
The Bible uses the word faith in two ways.
(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” (I Cor 2:3-5).
In Jesus’ ministry, he encountered those who possessed “great faith” (Matt 15:28), “little faith (Matt 8:26), or “no faith” (MK. 4:40). Based on our attitude toward God, the Word of God and the circumstances of life, we may find ourselves at times in any of those situations, or somewhere in between.
Faith is not jumping to conclusions, it is concluding to jump.
Christianity is not driven by fleeting feelings or blind allegiance. Or cunningly devised fables. It is founded on solid, sound evidence. It is faith driven.
The best definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
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.
(2) The Bible also uses the word “faith” to speak of the system of faith.
39 times the New Testament uses the expression “the faith” to speak of the gospel, the revealed Word of God. The book of Acts records those who “were obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7). Paul said some had made shipwreck of “the faith” (1 Timothy 1:19). And Jude appealed for us to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to all the saints” (Jude 3).
It is also worth noting that the Bible never speaks of many faiths. In Paul’s platform for Christian unity, Paul affirmed there is “one faith” (Eph 4:4). In other words, there is one gospel.
In Romans 5:1-2 faith is used in both ways. “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
We obtain justification, enjoy peace, and rejoice in our eternal hope when we have faith in the Faith. D. L. Moody expressed it this way.”
“I prayed for faith and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, “Now faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study, and faith has been growing ever since.”
Through the smoke-screen of this world’s moral darkness, there is a voice calling, “Jump! I will catch you.”
Have faith in God!
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman