Heb. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Faith is a subject that you can never truly exhaust or learn all about because faith is something that should be continually increasing in the life of a believer. One of the things we must do is make sure we are actually walking in the faith of God and not a worldly type of faith. The faith of the world has to see something before it can believe it. The God-kind of faith believes when it cannot yet see it.
I want to share some very powerful and timeless truths about faith. Like anything in life it is easy to drift away from what true faith really is. Many times I hear believers who say they are believing God for something, but then when you hear them speak or see what they are doing in relationship to what they are believing for it becomes evident that often they are not in Bible faith. Faith is what connects us with God, and so it is vitally important to make sure we are walking in the principles of Bible faith.
Not walking in Bible faith would be similar to getting a car that has no tires or wheels. You sit in the car, start it up, and rev up the engine but you go nowhere. The intended purpose of the car is not being utilized because you are lacking a significant part of the car. So it is with faith, for if you have parts of it working but are missing some of the elements that make faith work, it won’t accomplish it’s intended purpose in your life.
FAITH IS OUR EVIDENCE OF WHAT IS NOT YET SEEN
As Heb. 11:1 states faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen. I want to start by focusing on this last statement first. Another translation of this part of the verse states that faith convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see. That is what evidence does. If you think about a court case for example, for the jury to be convinced of something they did not actually witness they must have evidence to prove to them what is actually true. This is what faith does for the believer. Faith is the evidence that convinces the believer that what God’s Word says is true.
FAITH IS NOW – IT IS NOT HOPE
This brings me to another key principle about faith. Faith is now, not something we are yet expecting to happen. Hope is future tense, faith is present tense. Most believers who think they are walking by faith are actually walking by hope not faith. For example you could pray with someone for healing and after words say, “Are you healed?” They often then respond, “I sure hope so.”
Hope is what faith connects with, but faith then changes our hope into something we now have, even when it cannot yet be seen. That is difficult for the human mind to often grasp, but that is how the God-kind of faith works. The word hope in the Bible is defined as an expectation; it is something you can expect because God’s Word says it is so. Faith then takes what you now know you can expect from God and receives it as if it was already done.
You can see the difference in what is a worldly type of faith as opposed to the God-kind of faith when Thomas, who was not initially present with the disciples after Jesus had been raised from the dead and appeared to them, said to the disciples that he would not believe Jesus was alive until he could see his hands, feet, and side. Jesus then appears in their midst again with Thomas present and He tells Thomas to feel His body for himself. Jesus then said to him that he had believed because he had seen, but blessed are those who have not seen and yet believed. If you want to get blessed by God you must do so by faith, and that takes believing it is so before you can see or feel anything.
FAITH PUTS US IN FULL AGREEMENT WITH GOD
If you look now at Hebrews 11:6 you will see that it is impossible to please God without faith. This is an interesting and powerful statement about faith. The word “please” here is actually defined as being in agreement with. You see faith does not change God, faith changes us. When you get in faith you come into full agreement with what God has said. You again see what you are believing for as already done. That is why the promises we have in scripture based on what Jesus has done for us are always past tense. For example, by His stripes you WERE healed, not going to be one day. God sees all that Christ has done for us as a completed work, so when we get in faith then we see it the same as He does, a completed work.
Rom. 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (NKJ)
Rom. 10:17 So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself). (AMP)
FAITH COMES BY HEARING
This is a very familiar text for anyone who has ever heard about faith and how we get faith. We are initially all given a measure of faith as scripture clearly reveals, but we can increase the faith we have. We do so by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What I like about the Amplified and several other translations on this verse is the fact that it more definitively tells us a key to building our faith.
The Amplified states that this faith comes through the preaching or proclamation of the message that came from the lips of Jesus Himself. This is important when it comes to our ability to receive and walk in what God desires for us to have and to do because of what Christ did for us. We must focus much of our time on the Words of Christ, and all that the New Testament reveals we have through Christ Jesus.
Recognize here that our faith is built on the preaching of this message. This does not mean that faith will only come from being in church hearing the Word preached. It means that when we hear the Words of Christ and all He has done proclaimed then our faith will get stronger. You can proclaim God’s Word to yourself and this is a very important key to growing your faith. If you want to see your faith become stronger you must begin to consistently speak over your life and confess out loud to yourself what scripture says you have as a promise of being a born again child of God. The more you do the more your faith will grow.
You must also make sure you are not constantly listening to things that then go contrary to what God’s Word says. To do so is to allow what the Bible calls thorns to get into your heart and those thorns will choke out the Word that you have sown in your heart, and that Word will thus produce no fruit in your life. So it is not only important what you are saying, but it is also important what you are listening to. You need to address both areas in your life if you want faith to grow.
James 2:26 A body that doesn’t breathe is dead. In the same way faith that does nothing is dead.
FAITH HAS CORRESPONDING ACTION
Remember a key to faith means we are convinced that we have what the Bible has promised as a present possession even when we can’t see it. So when faith is actually released through our words declaring the promises of God over our life, then faith acts. As a body without breath, which actually refers to our spirit has no life, so it is with faith that does nothing. When a persons spirit leaves their body that body will cease to function. It will lay lifeless. This is what also happens to faith when there is no action following ones faith.
If you believe for example you are healed then you are going to act in line with one who is healed. You don’t wait until you feel healed, nor do you wait until you see a change in your body. You can’t fake faith, and by that I mean you can’t think that if you act that will prove you have faith. But if you have faith then you are convinced that your body is already healed. If you are convinced of this then you will act upon what you know is true even when you have not seen nor felt any evidence in the natural.
This is often hard for people to do but it is exactly what James is talking about when it comes to faith. Many are waiting to feel or see something before they act. This is not faith, but instead hope. One such instance in the New Testament was when ten lepers came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priest, which you would not do so unless you were healed. The Bible says as they went they were cleansed of their leprosy.
So make sure you are walking in the principles of Bible faith. It is then that you will see the results that God’s Word promises. Often we are missing a simple element of faith and that is why we are not getting anywhere. Use the faith you have, keep feeding on the Word, and watch your faith grow and produce great things.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker