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 (ESV)
Series Focus: “Back to the Basics”
Can you think of some activities requiring you to trust in something other than your own ability or intelligence. Bungee jumping, scuba diving and driving in dangerous weather, all come to mind. In these scenarios, we rely upon the equipment to perform properly and trust the operator’s expertise to keep us safe.
What compels us to trust the strength of a cord, the oxygen tank, or safety of the brakes for our very lives? If we didn’t have a measure of faith in the mechanics, and in the knowledge of those in charge, I bet we would engage in fewer risky endeavors.
Our everyday decisions depend or rely upon what we believe to be true, acceptable, and trustworthy. The food we eat, the medications we ingest, the water we drink, and the people with whom we have relationships are all filtered through this lens. Believe. Trust. Faith.
Take a moment to reflect on the concept of faith. We go from not knowing how we feel about something, to believing it is true, then trusting in it, and finally, having the faith it is real, even when we cannot explicitly prove it. Considering this train of thought, let’s relate it to our faith in God. How do we know Jesus is real? And if He is, how do we know He died and rose from the dead? We weren’t there. Did you ever ask this question? Maybe someone asked you? Faith might be the hardest word we ever have to describe.
In Hebrews 11:1 (NIV), the author attempts to define faith:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Just like preparing for a deep sea dive, we depend on what we can see in order to trust it is true/safe. We can’t see Jesus standing in front of us, so how do we trust who He says He is? Heaven isn’t a place we can go to visit for a few weeks. We only find it when we enter into eternal life through Jesus. And even if we find the ability to “believe” we still have to trust Him in order to put our faith in His promises, His Word, and His Kingdom. Faith is having confidence that God not only exists, but can and will do what His word says He will do.
Look at this scripture found in James 2:19:
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.
James teaches us it is possible to believe in God while not putting your trust in Him. Demons know Jesus is alive, yet they refuse to deny their own power to rule and control. Do we like control, desire our own way, or need more proof? These things, along with many others, play a part in why some find it difficult to trust in Jesus.
The moment you believed in Jesus isn’t the same as the moment you put your faith in Jesus. (Read that sentence again.)
Some may think it is too risky to believe Jesus is the Son of God, and trust Him to do what He says in His word. My prayer is that your eyes, heart and mind will be opened and willing to consider taking the most secure risk I know of—putting your faith in Jesus today.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Hebrews 11:6, 11:1; James 2:19; Mark 11:22; Romans 3:22; Galatians 3:14; Revelation 14:12