Faith in God

‘FAITH’ – the Mark of a True Disciple

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The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is by faith that we will obtain a good testimony. Verse 6 of the same chapter says, “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.” And that is how we all began our walk of faith in Christ – by confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord and believing in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead. That’s how we are saved according to Romans 10:9. But that was just the beginning. There is a life ahead of us to walk the faith we confessed. We have been justified by Christ and the just shall live by faith.

 Living by faith and pleasing God

If we are a true disciple of Christ, then in our daily life there are number of situations where we need to trust and put our faith in Him instead of doing things our way. Sometimes it would be very difficult but obedience through faith in Christ is a choice that we need to make even when situations are adverse. We all go through various trials and temptations in life. But it is important that we don’t lose our trust and faith in God or else we will backslide.

Yes, it could be a fact that you’ve tried a lot but still jobless, doctors might have medically given up all hopes about that sickness, you might have given up on your marriage, there could be people who might have terribly hurt you in your life and you’re not able to reconcile with them or forgive them, you might be struggling with a sin but not able to overcome since many years. All these factual situations in your life may repeatedly cry out and say that “It is not possible”. But faith always speaks against the factual situations. Yes all the above situations are true; but it is also true that God is able to take you through and make you an overcomer. When Satan tempted Jesus with the factual truth like hunger, security and provisions in life; Jesus responded saying it is also written.

Do not allow Satan to tempt you taking advantage of your desperate situations. Make sure that God is the source of all your provisions and not Satan. When the Egyptians with all their mighty army and modern weapons were chasing the Israelites to attack them, the Israelites were running for their lives; they reached before the Red Sea and couldn’t go any further. Humanly speaking, there was no hope. The children of Israel murmured against Moses and God based on the facts what they saw; but Moses in faith looked up to God who is the only hope for a direction and help. Faith is an assured hope and the proof of things that you have not seen. And God made a way through the Red Sea for the children of Israel. Hebrews 11:29 says, “By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.” You need to wait, trust and obey instead of doing things your way. We often fear to obey because we don’t have faith.

In Numbers chapters 13 & 14 we read that the children of Israel after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, reached outside Canaan (the Promised Land). And Moses sent 12 leaders to spy the land of Canaan. After forty days spying the land they came back to the assembly of the children of Israel and 10 of them gave the following report: (1) The land is truly flowing with milk and honey, (2) The people in that land are strong, (3) The cities are fortified and very large, (4) The Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites dwell there; we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we, (5) The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, (6) All the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature and (7) We were like grasshoppers in our own sight and so we were in their sight.

But the remaining 2 spies (Joshua and Caleb), had a different report. They said, “If the Lord delights in us, He will bring us in this land and give it to us….only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

Sometimes our situations are like what they saw in the land of Canaan; strong people, men of great stature like giants, fortified and large cities, the number of enemies are numerous – the Jobites, the Healthites, the Childrenites, the Financeites, the Businessites, Marriageites, Addictionites, etc. and the list will never end. We might look like grasshoppers before these problems in life. If your report is like those 10 spies who thought that they will not be able to overcome, then I would like to encourage you – Trust in God and trust in His promises. If God has given you a vision or a promise, hold on to it even if the situation doesn’t look favorable. Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

Beware!! – Be watchful because there are lot of misunderstandings and wrong teachings about ‘faith’. Faith is not a hope of fulfillment of our own desires. Faith is a hope of fulfillment of God’s promise to us. Abraham who is called the ‘father of faith’ believed in the promise of God and it was accounted to him for righteousness. It was not Abraham who desired for the Promised Land but God promising to give him a land flowing with milk and honey. It was God’s promise that he believed in faith. So we should not just imagine about something and say that I believe in faith that I will get it or God will give me. No, that’s not the faith God is talking about.

In the name of faith people claim some bible verses. For example, Isaiah 53:5 says, “…by His stripes we are healed.” It is true that God can heal any disease but it is also true that sometimes if it is not God’s will, then He doesn’t heal – and we all know that it is definitely with a purpose if God chooses not to heal. So if that option is true, then instead of claiming that verse blindly in the name of faith, we need to know God’s will. There is nothing wrong in praying and asking God to heal but claiming a bible verse out of context and declaring that the person is healed when he is still suffering with sickness is not biblical. Even Paul prayed 3 times for some sickness in his body but God chose not to heal him. Instead, God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”2 Corinthians 12:9.

I personally believe that when a person is suffering with some sickness and he believes that God will give His Grace to go through the pain; that is a much stronger faith and conviction than compared to a person whose faith in God is depending on healings and miracles.

May God continue to help each one of us to walk in faith which is the foundation of our relationship with Him and a mark of a true disciple of Christ. At the same time, let us guard ourselves from all kinds of wrong doctrines about faith.

Jose Benjamin

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