Thursday, November 22, 2012
This week I have been focused on what faith is. Faith is a word that I have literally heard countless times in my life. On an average day I see, hear, and say the word hundreds of times.
Faith is the belief in God, in His word, and in His character.
Who is God? He is a triune God, one God in three persons (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). He is the creator. He is omniscient (all knowing) , omnipotent (all powerful), and omnipresent (not bound by time and space). He is both just and loving. He is pure and Holy.
What is His word? His word is the Bible and is also the promises and covenants He made with His people. Since the fall of man God promised a redeemer that would crush the head of the serpent. He also made a covenant to never flood the entire earth again. The Bible tells us that God sent His son, Jesus as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. Jesus is God that came to earth in human form. The Holy Spirit indwells us when we accept Christ and repent from our sins. The Holy Spirit guides us and leads us, helping us through the sanctification process.
What is His character? God's character is extremely complex and beautiful. He is authoritative. He is pure. He is love. He is a provider. He is a just judge. He is understanding. He is creative. He is beautiful. He is personal. He is God.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see."
How does faith help us? I think there are a couple parts to faith. The first one being what God has given to us. It is through Him opening our eyes to who we really are and to who God is in relation. The Holy Spirit softens our hearts and convicts us. The second part to faith would be the choice to believe even when it goes against our flesh and our world. An example of this would be shown in Mark 9:24. The father of a sick boy who said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Faith is NOT the lack of concern, fear, or worry. It is choosing to give the concern, fear, and worry to God and believing that He is in control. Look back at what God has done to see what God will do when you can't see what He is doing now. When I am struggling with something and feel at loss of what to do, I look at God's character and what God has brought me through. I then can look forward to what God can and will do, which gives me hope for what is doing. A lot of times we have blinders on and cannot see outside of our circumstances.
God reveals Himself through the Bible, through the Holy Spirit, through His creation, and through history. If we don't believe what God has revealed to us, how can we expect to have faith?
How can I increase my faith? The first way is prayer, in asking God to help in our unbelief. The second way is in reading the Bible and learning about God's character. Finally, through obedience. By being faithful in what we are told to do and trusting God in little things. Our faith is like a muscle.. it can grow with use.
I love this question. When we have faith it ripples and touches those around us. Abrahams faith is still touching those around us today. I long for this kind of faith. I am not sure what kind of ripples I am leaving, but I pray that I will grow in faith and become the person God longs for me to be.
What Ripples of Faith are You Leaving? How has God been faithful to you when you stepped out in faith?