“Dwight, just what is faith anyway?” So asked a businessman of me recently. Of course the verse that immediately came to mind was Hebrews 11:1, “…Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” But what does that mean? Well,
- Faith is the title deed of things hoped for.
- Faith is confidence in the reality of things we cannot see.+
Ponder Elizabeth Elliot’s comments: “Faith is a decision. It is not a deduction from the facts around us. We would not look at the world of today and logically conclude that God loves us. It doesn’t always look as though He does. Faith is not an instinct. It is certainly not a feeling – feelings don’t help much when you’re in the lions’ den or hanging on a wooden Cross.
“Faith is not inferred from the happy way things always work. It is an act of the will, a choice, based on the unbreakable Word of God who cannot lie, and who showed us what love and obedience and sacrifice mean in the person of Jesus Christ.” ++
Basically, faith is a product of knowing God. And one cannot know God without exposure to Him through thoughtful and careful pondering of His character, as revealed in the Scriptures. I doubt that one can know God intimately without solitude: Listening to the Spirit through the ears of faith. Not easy in a world gone amok with its beeping, ringing, honking, and screeching. Not easy, but expected by God:
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psa. 46:10a)
And why is faith so important? Because,
“…Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him… But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” (Heb. 11:6, 10:38)
We can get by with a small amount of faith: “…If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matt. 17:20b)
But it is not what Jesus desires of us: “…You of little faith…why did you doubt?” (Matt. 14:31b; Mk. 16:14; Lk. 24:38; Heb. 10:38; 11:39)
QUESTION: Are you taking the necessary steps toward intimacy with God to develop your faith?
My prayer is that you are having a great week!