“To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1
It’s good to get out an old photo album and recall some of those special times in life. Often we forget some of those occasions, and it is a photo that suddenly brings memories flooding back of a special holiday, Christmases with family members, maybe some of whom are no longer with us, birthday parties, fun times that you have had with family and friends.
As I pour over old photos I have felt the tremendous blessings that have filled my life. As I look at the pictures of our children when they were babies and then recall the fun times we had as they were growing up, I feel really blessed from having those four people as part of my life. I can’t help but notice that those times are now in the past, never to be repeated. Life is like going on a journey – we never stay long at any one place, we keep on moving – seeing and doing new things. All the time getting a little older and closer to the day we leave this life and enter the place God has prepared for us in heaven.
When our life takes all kinds of unexpected twists and turns, it is faith that enables us to view everything differently. What is meant by faith? Faith is trusting in the promises of God. When God makes a promise and it doesn’t matter how weird that promise might be, he intends to keep it. A promise is a promise. Faith trusts that Word from God that says that Jesus has forgiven all of our sins; that he has made it possible for us to enter eternal life. Faith simply takes God at his word even though we don’t understand why life has taken so many twists and turns. Faith believes the promise that we are his dear children and that he will always be watching over us as we travel the ups and downs of life’s journey. Faith in our loving heavenly Father leads us to obedience even though we can’t see where God will lead us.
We receive faith from God through His Word that the Holy Spirit implants and sustains in us. God gives us faith, but we can also neglect our faith by neglecting His Word. Someone once called faith a muscle given to us by the Holy Spirit. It’s a gift from God. But like any muscle it must be exercised otherwise it becomes weak and useless. And the more it is exercised the stronger it becomes. Faith responds to God’s Word with action. Has your faith been a busy, active thing, because of what God has said to you? How has your life been changed? Or has it been business as usual?
Conclusion: Faith summons us to respond to God’s Word. Faith calls us to trust God, even when it is illogical to do so. Faith is persistent, even when it doesn’t make any sense. Faith believes, even when there is no proof. Faith calls us to obedience, even when we don’t feel like it.
In Jesus, we see the perfect example of what it means to have faith. He was faithful to the point of death. He faithfully carried out his work as Saviour of the world, opening the path for each of us to have eternal life. When we are weighed down with worry and our sinfulness and we feel like giving up, we have a Saviour. We believe firmly that Jesus has not let go of his grip on us. Life may not be easy but Jesus’ love for us and his forgiveness is as strong as ever. In fact, faith looks forward to a time
when we will be welcomed into the promised land of heaven. What is faith? It is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.