The Bible says that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). This verse then goes on to tell us that we must believe that God exists and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently or earnestly seek him. This article will be discussing faith for everyday happiness and success.
The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as the faith chapter. It is tremendously encouraging for Christians as it highlights great men of faith in the Bible. And please note that the Bible was written for our admonition and instruction, for training in righteousness (1st Timothy 3:16).
So first of all what is faith? Well the Bible describes it this way: (Hebrews 11:1) now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In other words we believe not because we see; but because God has declared it in his word and God does not lie! As Christians we live by faith and not by sight (2nd Corinthians 4:18, 2nd Corinthians 5:7). The most exciting thing a Christian actually looks forward to is living with God in heaven for eternity. You may say that’s pretty naive, believing in God’s words without proof but the actual fact of the matter is that God will prove it after we consciously choose to believe! For example Abraham became known as the friend of God because of his simple, consistent faith. And most people can easily recall the story of how God tested Abraham by asking him to offer up his son Isaac as a sacrifice. This was a test of faith and God was indeed pleased with the result! Please realize that Abraham loved Isaac and God had already promised that Abraham would become the father of many nations; and how could this be accomplished if he did not have a son to carry on his name? Therefore Abraham must have envisioned God bringing his son back to life or some similar idea based upon faith!
Do you also recall the story of how Thomas doubted that Jesus had risen from the dead and had visited the apostles? (John 20:24-29) When the apostles informed him of this great event Thomas said: "I won't believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side." (John 20:25) We then go on to read how the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Thomas personally and said "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27) At this moment Thomas felt ashamed and humbled before our lord and replied by saying: You are my Lord and my God (John 20:28) and although Jesus loved Thomas as a lesson to us in faith he said “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed". (John 20:29) There you have it, you can believe without seeing! It is based upon a free will and an open heart. You see man believes with the heart unto salvation (For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:10) The heart doesn't always understand the details that the mind demands but instead has a knowingness that supersedes the “seeing and logic principle”. That is to say “we see with our hearts”!
Now we can go on and on about how often Jesus instructed the crowds to believe with their hearts and not doubt. But let’s just say that faith forms the foundation of Christianity! And that Jesus is the actual author and finisher of our faith! (Hebrews 12:2) Are you getting the picture? So how do we practically apply this to our daily lives for success and happiness? Well we need to continually learn to trust God day by day little by little. He knows we are bound to make mistakes and there will be ups and downs. But if you have read through the Bible this places us in great company! Indeed all of the great men of God had their hardships and trials but God came through for them and he will come through for you! Living by faith is a process of consciously placing our trust in God day by day. Pray to him and ask him for guidance, his word will lead the way! God bless you friends!
By Gordon E. Dawe