What is Faith?

What is faith?  That is an easy question which is not easy to answer.  Webster’s defines faith as a strong belief or trust in someone or something.  The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1-2, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.  For our ancestors won God’s approval by it.”  So, faith is truly believing in what we do not have proof of.  Faith is strong; faith is powerful.  But what IS faith?  Do you have faith?  That is actually a rhetorical question as we all have some faith in something; we have faith our brakes will work when we come to a stop sign, we have faith that the light goes off when the refrigerator door shuts, we have faith the sun will come up tomorrow.  That is basic faith; but do you have biblical faith?  What is biblical faith?  I don’t mean the biblical definition; I mean the faith that is shown in the Bible.  I don’t just mean the faith of believing in who God is; I mean the faith of BELIEVING who God is with all of your existence.  Let me present you with some people of truly biblical faith:

  • Noah was a man that God spoke to, and Noah listened.  Think of this:  God tells Noah that because of the wickedness of the world, God is going to destroy it.  God tells Noah to make a boat because God will flood the earth and destroy it; God tells Noah that He will save Noah, his family, and two of all animals.  Noah says ok and does all that God asks; even though Noah had never witnessed a flood, never heard of rain, and was only told once by God to do this – yet it took Noah over 100 years to build the ark and he did not hesitate, stop, or question God.  Noah had faith; Noah had biblical faith that wound up saving mankind.
  • Abraham and Isaac. I put these two together to show you some major biblical faith:  God commanded Abraham to take his son Isaac to the mountain and sacrifice him.  Think of that one; God commands a father to sacrifice his son, his only son, his promised son; could you?
    Abraham had faith that God knew what He was doing; Abraham knew God had a plan and everything would work out since God had promised Abraham that his descendants would be traced through Isaac.
    When Abraham gets to the foot of the mountain, he tells the men who came with him and his son, ““Stay here with the donkey.  The boy and I will go over there to worship; then we’ll come back to you.”  Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac.  In his hand he took the fire and the sacrificial knife, and the two of them walked on together”, Genesis 22:5-6.  Abraham again shows his faith when he says, “then we’ll come back to you.”  Abraham said we will, not I will.  Abraham would not lie to the men; to lie was a sin.  Abraham would not disobey God; to disobey God was a sin.  Abraham had to kill Isaac, yet Abraham knew they both would return.  This is faith in God; this is faith in knowing that God would take care of the situation.  This is biblical faith.
    Isaac and Abraham get to the spot God told them to go, and Isaac asks the million dollar question in Genesis 22:7-10, “”The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”  Abraham answered, “God Himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  Then the two of them walked on together.  When they arrived at the place that God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood.  He bound his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood.  Then Abraham reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.”  Now Isaac is no dummy, he is not a kid, he could probably have taken Abraham in a fight; but Isaac had faith in both his father, and in God.  Abraham told Isaac that God would provide the lamb for the offering, and Isaac knew his dad wouldn’t lie to him, especially about God.
    Then, when God saw the faith both exhibited, He called out and stopped Abraham; God then provided Abraham with a ram for the offering.  Abraham had faith.  Isaac had faith.  They had biblical faith; they knew God would take care of things as long as they trusted in Him and His word.  God made a promise; God does not renege on His promises, ever.
  • Mary, mother of Jesus. Put yourself in Mary’s place:  you are engaged to a really nice guy, you have been a very good girl all your life, and the angel Gabriel comes up and tells you that you will carry God’s Son, yet you will not sleep with any man to make this happen.  Think on that; an angel says you are going to give birth to the SON OF GOD.  Would you have the same faith as Mary to say, “I am the Lord’s slave, may it be done to me according to your word”, Luke 1:38.  That is biblical faith; that is the faith that brought on our Saviour.
  • Joseph, husband-to-be of Mary. Think on this one and put yourself in Joseph’s place:  Your girlfriend tells you that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  In that day and age, for a woman to be pregnant out of wedlock was a death sentence for the woman.  Joseph decides not to tell anyone; he decides to not disgrace her and divorce her privately.  After Joseph decides this, an angel comes to Joseph in a dream and tells him the good news; Mary is carrying the prophesized Messiah, Jesus.  Joseph has faith; Joseph has biblical faith and does not question any of this.  Joseph trusts in his wife-to-be, and Joseph trusts in the Lord; Joseph has true faith.
  • The thief on the cross next to Jesus. The thief had faith; the thief knew the Man condemned to die next to him was the Messiah.  The thief knew through faith that Jesus was God in the flesh.  The thief had biblical faith beyond all measures; he truly believed.

All of the people of the Bible are just that, people; they are flesh and blood, just like you and I. There was only one thing special about them; they believed the Lord when He spoke; they had biblical faith.  They did not overly question; they believed because they had faith.  Moses felt he was not a speaker, Abraham thought he was too old, and David was just a boy going against the giant Goliath; but they all had biblical faith that allowed them to do great things for God.

Now, do you have biblical faith?  Do you have faith strong enough that if the Lord tells you something, you will believe Him?  Do you have the biblical faith to believe the words of God with all of your heart?  Do you have the faith to know that if you accept and confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and personal Saviour, that He died on the cross for you, that He paid the price for your sins with His life and washed your sins away with His blood, that He is the Ultimate Lamb which was provided for the great sacrifice, and that He died and rose three days later to sit at the right hand of His Father, that you will be saved from eternal death if you follow His teachings?  Do you have the faith that the Bible only speaks the truth and is inspired by the words of God?  Do you believe that with God, you can overcome all obstacles?  With faith and the word of God, you can overcome alcoholism, lust, immorality, greed, anger, and the like; you can heal marriages, families, friendships, relationships, depression, and trust issues; you can walk with God, head held high, and know that you are always loved and protected.

Trust in the Lord; read and meditate on the Bible and practice its teachings; have faith that God is with you, always; trust that God loves you so much, He sent His Son to die for you so that you may live.  Jesus Christ died for you, and all He asks is that you have faith in Him.

May God bless you.

 

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