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::Devotional:: ‘What is faith?’

January 13, 2010

Before the lights were turned on and the dew had a chance to settle on the field every Friday night you could find me in the locker room or training room with a few of my teammates relaxing in preparation for the upcoming game.  About an hour or two before the game the coach would bring us all together and we would go over our game plan one last time before we suited up and hit the field.  We went over the basics.  We were reminded of things like “Low man wins”, “Wrap up – no arm tackles”, “hold on to that ball”, “the team that blocks and tackles the best wins football games.”  Going over the basics and reminding us of what we already knew to be true helped to put our minds at ease and prepare us for the test ahead, the Friday night game.  In the same way I am reminding myself of the basics of  faith, in preparation for testing I will face ahead.

It is important to always remember that we should seek to find where scripture defines scripture.  In this case, how does scripture define faith?  Hebrews 11 is a reservoir of scripture about faith.  Not only does it give a definition of faith, but it is full of  examples of people who displayed such faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  This is what the ancients were commended for.  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  Hebrews 11:1-3

What is faith?

Being sure of what we hope for

Faith is our commitment to live in hope of what God has promised because he has convinced us through His word and His son Jesus that he is trustworthy.  I am certain that the promises of God’s word will come to pass.  Some I’ve seen and experienced first hand already, others I will not see until Jesus returns.  I read one commentary that said faith is the “title-deed of things hoped for” (Robertson’s Word Pictures).  A title-deed is a binding legal document proving a person’s right to property.  Faith is my blessed assurance and ownership that the things I hope for, in accordance to God’s word, will come to pass.  Knowing that, I live my life in a state of confidence as if I had already received those things.  I live with certainty.

Certain of what we do not see

I read a quote the other day that said “Live your life in such a way that it makes no sense apart from the existence of God.”  There are many things that I live with certainty about that I have no ability to see.  Some people might call that foolish.  I call it faith and apart from the existence of God it would be foolish.  I was not present at the creation of the heavens and the earth, yet I am certain that God created them.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.  Hebrews 11:3

I was not present at the cross when Jesus was crucified, yet I am certain that he died for my sins and three days later rose from the dead!  I can’t see God working out the details of his perfect plans in the midst of the present, yet I am certain that God is at work in my life and all around me.  I can’t see how God is going to provide for my needs, yet I am certain that he will.  I do not have the ability to see the future to know when Jesus will return, yet I live with certainty and anticipation just as if it were Christmas.

Faith is not something that we can feel, it is not an emotion, although it is often filled with emotion.  Rather, faith is a decision we make to act upon what we believe; what we believe is based onon what we hope for and what we hope for are the things God has promised in his Word.  It is an absolute in the Christian life.

Remind yourself of the need to have faith in preparation for the testing ahead.  Take ownership in what God has promised because He is trustworthy and reliable.  Count on him today.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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