Perhaps the most ill-defined and generically-used words of our generation is “faith.” People will make the statement “I am a person of faith” or they will say “I just have my faith.” And while I do not doubt their statement, I always wonder what exactly their faith refers to. When some speak of faith, they think of being a Christian while others think of a monk in a monastery. Still others will think of religion as a whole. Some use the word faith to refer to their walk and fellowship with God while others use faith to refer to their belief in some greater good.
So then what is faith?
Hebrews 11:1-2 defines faith as this, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report.” Faith is often used to define the word belief, but it goes beyond the word belief; faith is acting on your belief knowing your hope is sure. You may come to a chair and believe that chair will hold you but faith is then sitting in that chair believing it will hold you.
The only way we can show our faith is through believing in God to the point we trust and obey His commandments. Faith is acting on the belief we have. In Hebrews chapter 11 the Bible gives us many examples of great Christians of faith by telling us what they did. Their actions in response to their belief. Their obedience in response to their trust, is how we see their faith.
We find that it was “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice” and that Noah’s faith is what moved him to prepare an ark. It was Abraham’s faith that led him from his homeland to a place he had never seen. And it was faith that stirred Moses to leave the palace of Pharaoh to suffer with the children of God. Our faith is not our belief. It is the action that our belief activates.
What is your belief- your faith-stirring you to do for God?
Faith in the gospel will lead you to witness to lost people. You can say you believe in the saving power of the gospel but the only way you can show it is by getting the gospel to the lost because you believe it will eternally change their life.
Belief in God as the Supreme Provider will activate your faith in giving to the work of God. If you truly believe God is able to provide your needs you will obey his commands to tithe, you will give to your local church and it’s missions program. Your faith is only seen through your action.
You can say you believe in the work of God, but faith in that work is shown by your involvement in your local church. If you really believe that we serve a God Who is able to do a great work in our day, you will be as involved as possible in that work.
James 2:17-18 says it this way,
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”
This year let’s pray for God to increase our faith, realizing that a true increase in faith will result in an increase of work for Christ!