What is faith? What does it mean to have it?
Thankfully, the Bible gives us a clear definition of FAITH.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
So for starters… we can’t see God. He’s not here visible, where we can see Him or touch Him. So that would mean FAITH in God means that we are assured that He’s there even though we can’t see Him.
1 Peter 1:8-9
You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
Having faith in God means trusting that He is there.
So how can we know God is there?
We have His word that tells us about Him.
We can see His handiwork in creation. (Psalm 8)
He works in our lives individually as well as collectively.
He is faithful to fulfill His promises.
This point comes back to the first part of Hebrews 11:1… "Confidence that what we hope for will actually happen."
So what are the things that we hope for?
We hope and trust God for our salvation through faith in Christ.
We hope for the day when all will be made right. (Romans 8)
Individual promises that The Lord gives to us.
This one may seem strange to you. Maybe you don’t know of any promises from God to you personally…
Well, Scripture shows us over and over that God desires to work in each of our lives. The stories of the Bible are filled with God making promises to people. The stories show how the people waited for God to fulfill His promise.
One example is David. Early in his life, God made it clear to David that he would one day be the king of Israel. But just because God made the promise to David didn’t mean that it would happen right away.
It took years for the promise of God to be fulfilled. David went through many struggles before he saw the promise answered. But his constant hope that what was promised would actually happen is an example of FAITH in God.
Another amazing example of faith is Abraham. God promised him that he would have a son and become the ancestor of a whole nation! The problem was that Abraham was REALLY old… so was his wife Sarah. What are chances that the promise of God would ACTUALLY come true?
Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That’s how many descendants you will have!" And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
God’s promise to Abraham came true. Isaac was born to them… the rest is history.
In our lives, God does the same things. He gives us promises. Some we can find right in Scripture. Some are ones specific to our lives. He uses scripture, life circumstances, and the people in our lives to guide us to.
When you begin to seek God, He reveals His plan for your life. He shows you what He wants to do in and through your life.
So how does this work in your life?
- Forgiveness of Sins -
1 John 1:9
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
Faith would be trusting that God forgives our sins no matter how we feel. It’s trusting that God will do what He said He would.
- Guidance -
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand.
- Desires and hopes fulfilled -
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.
- Protection -
The Lord says, "I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation."
There are hundreds of promises for your life in the Bible.
The tough part is actually trusting that God will fulfill what He promised. That’s where the battle is.
That’s where FAITH comes in. We have to trust that what we hope for and what God has promised will ACTUALLY happen. Just like Abraham.
So what about you? Where do you need faith? Where do you need to trust The Lord?