What is Faith? (Bob Moore examines this question)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
” ... However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"
Luk 18:8 NIV
“It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade."
Mar 4:31-32 NIV
Helen Keller once said “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
From C.S. Lewis: "Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted in spite of your changing moods"
Modern philosophers sometimes say that reason is superior to faith because it relies on the real world rather than “pie in the sky” belief. Others say that faith is nothing more than an existential leap into the dark without any expectations. They are all wrong!
Jesus often exhorted His listeners to exercise faith.
To the centurion in Matthew chapter eight who asked Jesus to heal his servant , yet believing that it could be done at a distance, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
In Mark chapter two in the account of the paralytic whose friends lowered him through a hole in the ceiling it says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, 'Son, your sins are forgiven.' ”
And again, in Luke chapter 7, verses 36 through verse 50, we see a sinful woman who is truly repentant for her lifestyle recognizing Jesus for who He really is, and acting on her faith, sacrificing a gift at great cost to anoint the Savior's feet. When the guests comment about the impropriety of the display Jesus replies "Your sins are forgiven." and "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."
What is it that these examples all share in common? It is that they all ACTED on their faith!
James said in 2:17 “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Does this mean that we HAVE to do works in order to have faith? Of course not! But what it DOES mean is that if we have faith then we will naturally exhibit good works that confirm our faith.
When examining our own faith it is not profitable for us to compare ourselves to others, for each individual has their own faith walk to navigate. God created us as individuals and does not compare us to each other, but looks at each of us as a collection of our experiences and talents and gifts so that each of us has only ourselves to account for and NOT others' expectations.
Brothers and sisters, faith is not a suit of clothes that we put on every Sunday morning, neither is it a secret language that we speak only amongst ourselves, it is, rather, the naturally occurring behaviors that we express in our daily lives if Christ truly reigns in our hearts.
Even though it pains me when a fellow employee says to me “And I thought you were a Christian” in response to my reaction to some frustration, it DOES inform me that I MUST be showing SOME Christ-like behavior the rest of the time, and THAT is encouraging!
Let our prayer be that Christ's character be expressed in our lives as a result of our faith in His power to change us and to conform us to His image as it says in Romans chapter eight.