“People need to see our faith, not merely hear about it,” wrote Bob Buford in his book, Halftime.
“When our beliefs are personal and privatized, practiced only inside a building one day a week,” Buford observed, “we Christians miss out on that glorious opportunity to be salt and light. Worse, I believe that when faith continues to be directed inward, we become one-dimensional, uninteresting, and wholly self-centered persons.”
Faith is truth in life. In word. In deed. Expressed in every relationship. And exemplified, not just in the proclamation of one’s beliefs, but in daily behavior. As Oswald Chambers expressed it, “The business of faith is to convert Truth into reality.”
As we just concluded reading the Thessalonian epistles, I noticed a two-word expression Paul used several times. “Your faith.”
“Your faith in God has become known everywhere,” the apostle observed in commending these Christians. (1 Thess. 1:8)
He said that he sent Timothy to Thessalonicia to “strengthen and encourage you in your faith” (1 Thess. 3:2).
Furthermore, Paul expressed his concern that Satan might unsettle and shake “your faith” (1 Thess. 3:5).
Instead, he was pleased to receive good news concerning “your faith” and was encouraged by “your faith” (1 Thess. 3:6-7).
And yet, Paul wanted to see them and supply whatever may be lacking in “your faith” (1 Thess. 3:6-7).
The faith of these brethren was obviously on Paul’s mind and was vitally important to their spiritual well being. And so, we find this wonderful commendation in 2 Thess. 1:3-4.
“We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and (your) faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.”
“Your faith” is also an expression that Jesus frequently used in his healing and teaching ministry.” “According to your faith, be it done to you.” “Your faith has made you well.” “Your faith has saved you.”
Furthermore, the apostle Paul affirmed to the Corinthian brethren that “your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” “Your faith continues to grow.” And that if Christ has not been resurrected from the dead, “your faith is futile” (1 Cor. 2:5; 15:17; 2 Cor. 10:15)
These passages and several others teach us some important facts about “your faith.”
Your faith is personal. Just like sin is not inherited from our forefathers, neither is your faith. Your faith must be your own. It must spring from your mind and heart. From your own Bible study. And from your personal convictions.
Your faith works. Literally. Indeed “faith without works is dead.” Your faith ministers “to the least of these.” To the weak. To the hurting. To the widow. To the orphan. To the poor and needy. To the disenfranchised. And to those overtaken in sin.
Your faith is evidenced everywhere. In your home. In your business. In your community. In your school. In your social media posts. The principles and precepts of your faith, as Buford suggested, cannot be confined to four walls in a church building.
Your faith can grow. Faith is not a static thing. It can increase. Develop. And mature. Your faith can become bigger. Better. And greater. By daily feeding on God’s Word, continuing steadfast in prayer, and exercising it, your faith can grow stronger.
Your faith encourages others. Your faith lifts the spirits of the discouraged. Enlivens those who’ve become lethargic. Emboldens believers to remain strong. Cheers the fainthearted. Reassures the doubting. Excites and energizes pastors and preachers. And challenges the faithful to greater heights.
Your faith testifies to an unbelieving world. Your faith proclaims, “God is real.” It declares, “The Bible is true.” It professes “Christianity is practical.” Your faith is a shining light in a sin darkened world. And your faith is the salt of the earth impacting a world where morals, as R. V. Tasker wrote, “are low, constantly changing, or nonexistent.” Your faith is positive influence in a corrupt culture.
Your faith is important.
Your faith is worth more than silver or gold.
Your faith makes a difference.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman