“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe,” once wrote the 4th-century theologian Augustine.
This reminds me of an unknown author who expressed it this way: “Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible, and receives the impossible.”
In our cynical, secular, irreligious, and immoral culture, we need a renewal of faith.
But what kind of faith?
The faith of which we write rises above the promises of politicians, the power of our own potential, or the platitudes of modern-day prosperity preachers. The apostle Paul reminds us “that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1Cor. 2:5). “Have faith in God,” Jesus urged the doubters of His day as well as His disciples.
Through the eye of faith, we see God as the Creator and our Heavenly Father. We see Jesus as our Redeemer and Savior. We see the Holy Spirit as the Revealer and Intercessor. We see the Bible as our inspired guidebook and Divine roadmap. And we see Heaven as our primary goal and ultimate home.
Such faith is defined in the Hebrew letter as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). It is identified as that which pleases God and results in His reward (v.6) Furthermore it is exemplified by God’s greats with the two words: “By faith.”
…Abraham went…sojourned…and dwelt.
…The Judges delivered.
…The prophets spoke.
…The Ancients conquered…performed…stopped…quenched…escaped…and obtained.
Do you see a common denominator? Faith is active, not passive. Faith is engaged. Energetic. And enthusiastic. Faith is on the go…going God’s way.
Faith is not “getting zapped” by some “better-felt-than-told” experience that borders on the mystical, based on the subjective, and appealing to the esoteric.
Faith is founded in intellectual evidence. Its impact stirs our emotions. Pricks our conscience. And motivates us to willingly “walk by faith.” Thus, the whole of man, the heart, is faith-driven.
This God-pleasing faith is grounded in “the faith.” It is the “one faith” of Ephesians 4:5. That is, the gospel. The doctrine of Christ. The revealed Truth of God’s Word. Our faith is in “the faith,” by which we’re justified as Paul wrote in Romans 5:1-2.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
We need a renewal, revival, and rededication of faith. Not an abstract belief. Nor a mere mental acquiescence. Nor a simple assent to the Bible as God’s Word. But a real-life application that our faith works. That it’s relevant. Authentic. And active.
Dee Bowman once observed, “There is a rank contradiction in a man’s life when he says he believes in Christ and lives a life that obviously conflicts with what he has said. Actually, there is little to be said for a profession that does not result in application.”
The Bible writer, James, stated it bluntly. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (Jas. 2:26).
O Lord, renew our faith.
In the words of the hymnist, W. H. Bathhurst…
O for a faith that will not shrink,
Though pressed by every foe,
That will not tremble on the brink
Of any earthly woe.
That will not murmur nor complain
Beneath the chastening rod,
But, in the hour of grief or pain,
Will lean upon its God;
A faith that shines more bright and clear
When tempests rage without:
That when in danger knows no fear,
In darkness feels no doubt;
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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