Living by Faith: Part 2
Last week I left you with the challenge to think about how you practice and experience faith. If you did not have a chance to read, click here.
When we last spoke, I was really struggling with how to define this faith lived out. Sure, I have a lot of questions, but I don’t want to stay there. And there is no reason I should stay there because God never leaves us hanging.
Before we can move forward with what any of us think, we must go back to Scripture. It is our lifeline. And regardless of what we think or feel, if God’s Word does not back it up, it really doesn’t matter. Here is just a glimpse of what the Bible says about faith:
- Habakkuk 2:4-…but the righteous will live by his faith.
- Romans 3:22-This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
- 2 Corinthians 5:7-We live by faith, not by sight.
- Galatians 2:20-I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
- Ephesians 6:16-Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
- 1 Timothy 6:12-Fight the good fight of the faith.
- Hebrews 11:1-Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
- James 2:18-…I will show you my faith by what I do.
Now, does faith mean everything works out the way we want? No. Does it mean the path is easy or according to our plan? Not always. Faith is deeper. It is a trust, a conviction that no matter what the outcome is know that God is working, that he works all things for good, and that he will make us more like him through anything.
More than that, faith is action. James reminds us that faith without deeds is dead. This gives me encouragement that even if initially I do not feel like having faith or even if I have doubts, my actions speak louder than words. We eventually believe what our actions tell us to believe.
At the end of the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11 we are told that they “were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” What just stood out to me that I hadn’t paid much attention to is this: “God had planned.” God has a plan. These men and women had faith because they trusted in God’s plan even when they could not foresee the outcome and in most cases, never saw the outcome.
Conclusions? Ah, that is always the million-dollar question. I can stand on this: God demands faith, and he is faithful to us. The men and women who made it into the chapter of faith acted on truth despite their fears and doubts. We would be naïve to believe it was easy for them to have faith or that some level of fear was not present. They were men and women just like us. What they were commended for was their action. Hebrews 11 is account after account after account of people taking action.
Actions. Now that is how we live our faith.