More About Faith

What is faith? It’s not mysterious. God tells us, very specifically, what it is. In the Bible, it is written: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). If that doesn’t do it for you, read it again. Ponder it a little bit longer than you might normally consider something. Would you like to discuss it? In this chapter of the Bible, there is a recounting of the faithful men – and women! – of God, and in verse 6 we also discover this additional statement about faith: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) !!!

The thing about spiritual truth is, it might not make any sense to you unless the Holy Spirit was leading you into all truth. What am I saying? The mysteries of God require that you are sincere in your desire to draw near to God. Jesus spoke of those with ears who could hear not, with eyes who could see not. How sincere are you in your desire to know the truth about God, about eternal life, and what it takes to receive it? It’s true, God desires all men to come to know the truth; but, is that your desire? Many in this life seem to believe “Ignorance is bliss.” Of course, that’s a lie, leaving those who follow that road tripping over the rocks of unfulfillment, mediocrity, apathy, emptiness – things that lead to other bad habits, poor choices…

But in regard to faith, specifically, that 1st verse says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for…”

ASSURANCE. What does that mean to you? Does it answer the question about what faith is, even partially, for you? Or does it just leave you with more questions? Confusion, perhaps? Perhaps you scoffed at such a statement? Read Psalm 1. Isn’t it a natural, normal desire to want assurance about whether or not an important decision in your life will turn out the way you hoped? Perhaps you’re curious about whether or not to buy a house, about whether or not you should commit yourself in marriage to another person – big decisions, concerns about what such a future might mean for you. Will you need to change, to mature, to be less selfish, to be more thrifty, modify your excesses, a whole host of different ideas might flood into your mind! Have they? Maybe you’re seeing these questions from the other side, looking back with regret, with disappointment, wishing you had made better choices, or, at least, different ones. Now what do you do? How would a life before God change matters in your life that you have learned that you can’t really control? Could anything really be improved?

God will make a huge difference in your life, because He cares that much for you! He is a treasure worth hanging on to! What are your hopes and dreams? “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” – God is not a “genie” in a bottle, something you can tinker & toy with, that you get to control. Assurance gives the meaning to faith of confidence, being trustworthy: much like habeas corpus, that expectation that doctors will “do no harm” – you can be confident that God has your best interests at heart, concerning His plan for your life.

CONVICTION. Are you able to trust in what you don’t understand? Is it possible for you to know, with confidence, that God revealed His truth to you about Himself in the book He mysteriously authored, The Bible, and to accept that what it says about Him is true? If not, maybe you should read it for yourself, to prove to yourself that the errors that others have told you it contains don’t actually exist – I would hate for you to come to the realization that you stopped short of your goal of discovery about God because others blinded you, or prevented you, from learning about God by mere trickery, smoke & mirrors, that you didn’t choose to take the initiative to determine for yourself what you might choose to believe is true or not about this matter. Your eternity is at stake! Is that important enough for you? Or is the needs of today all that ever matters? This life is a vapor: gone in a flash. What do you want to be doing through eternity? Are you ready to discover what great things God has in store for your life? Only you can answer that. The next verse is understood with eyes looking to a recent past experience: Is it true about you yet? Do you want it to be?

     “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

Instead, you may still be in a forward-looking phase of life, still seeking God, still hopeful of a better tomorrow, but still not convinced that God will change anything about you, your life, your circumstances, your troubles…

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Does that sound more like your life right now? Are you stuck in the muck and mire of a difficult life, weighed down by poor decisions, frustrated by difficult circumstances, wishing you had made better choices, knowing that you current state of affairs is due to the life you chose to live and wishing it was different? Do you see your sin as being something you are unable to overcome? Is it so embarrassing to you that you don’t believe that God could ever truly forgive you for the wrongs you have done? You’re wrong. Your thoughts about God are too small. God is bigger than your problems! He’s bigger than all of the problems in the whole world, combined! “The Lord is with you when you are with Him, and if you seek Him He will let you find Him, but if you forsake Him He will forsake you” (2 Chronicles 15:2).

Don’t ever stop seeking to know the truth. If you ar sincere in your desire to know God, the Holy Spirit will bring you into all truth, usually through God’s use of other people in your life.

Grace & peace to you, in the journey.

God bless, Ron

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