Don’t Leave Your Faith All Alone

As we read in the post, Faith is, faith is trusting.  Faith in God is trusting in God’s truthfulness, reliability, ability, and strength.  We also read that faith deepens through experience and is built on relationship.  The more time you spend with God, the more you get to know him, the more your relationship with him deepens, and the more your faith in him grows. 

However, it is important to note that our faith can be in anything or multiple things.  You can have faith in your yourself, your intelligence, your “street smarts,” your parents, your education, your family, your looks, your genetics, or your spouse.  You can even have faith in your lack of faith.  You can have so much faith in something that it defines you.  You can begin to identify yourself by what you have faith in, and become known by it.

None of these things should take the place of faith in God.  Faith in God is trusting that He is and that what he said is true.  It is trusting him enough to give him a place in your life and to have a relationship with him.  And, trusting him enough to act on what he has said through his word to you.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Believing God exists, trusting in him enough to seek him, pleases God.  We also see in this verse that it is impossible to please God if you don’t believe that he rewards you for seeking him.  I want to please God, don’t you?

We also read in the Faith is post that faith without corresponding action does us no good. When we believe something strongly enough, we act on it.  For example, when you are first hired for a job, you show up and complete your assignments, day after day, week after week, because you were told that at the end of a specified period, you would be paid.  You trusted the word of the person who hired you, and you acted on that word.   We should have that same action oriented faith when it comes to God’s word.  Throughout the Bible, we read what God takes pleasure in.  We read how we, as His children, are to conduct ourselves.  We read how we are to respond to the circumstances of our lives, and how we are to act on the words that we read and teaching that we hear.

The importance of acting on the word is perfectly summed up in James 1:19-22:  19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it-not forgetting what they have heard but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do (NIV).

We’ve seen so far that faith is trusting that God is, trusting what God has said and acting on the Word of God.  Trust shouldn’t be unaccompanied.  Throughout the Bible, faith accompanies love, hope, and patience.

Let’s look first at Galatians 5:5 and 6.  For through the Spirit, we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (NIV).  Here we read that faith uses the conduit that love provides to reveal itself.  Faith without works is dead, but those works express themselves through love.  So, we see that love should be the motivating factor, love for and from God should motivate us to act.

Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:1-5 (KJV).

What powerful scriptures!  Faith, love, hope, and patience are all mentioned so let’s explore these scriptures a little further.  The first thing we read is that faith justifies us and because we’re justified by faith, we enjoy peace with God through Jesus our Lord.  Not only that, according to verse two, the faith that we have in God and the justification that we have through Jesus grants us access to God’s grace!  Wow!  Grace is not the topic of this post, but there are some amazing promises and provisions available to us through the grace of God.  Maybe we’ll cover grace in a later post, as the Lord leads.  For now, let’s just rejoice in the fact that we have access to God’s grace through faith and the justification that we have through Jesus our Lord.  We should also rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, according to verse two.

Now, verses three through five are interesting.  It says that we are to glory in tribulation.  Verse three assumes that we are aware that tribulation works patience and that we know the value of patience.  Patience, in turn, provides valuable experience and experience produces hope.  Lastly hope is never ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts.  These promises start with faith.  Our faith enables us to enter God’s presence without self-consciousness because we have faith in the justification that the Lord Jesus has provided.  We understand, through faith, that we can stand in God’s presence holy and without blame, wrapped in his love (Ephesians 1:4). 

Because of our confidence, and the grace in which we stand, we can face tribulation knowing it won’t have the last word.  How could it stand in the face of God’s grace?  Knowing that God will cause us to triumph (2 Corinthians 2:14) and gives us the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57) we can stand firm in our faith when tribulation comes.  As we experience victories and the peace of God through them (Philippians 4:7) our patience grows.  As our patience and experience grow, we become more and more hopeful, experience more and more victories, and the cycle continues from faith to faith and from glory to glory!

As we’ve studied through this post, faith works by love and faith manifests itself through action.  Faith is accompanied by patience to inherit God’s promises, and faith provides the substance of the things that we eagerly anticipate.