Ever notice how much the word "faith" comes up in conversation and in the media? We use "faith" to mean "religious preference" as when we ask, "What is your faith?" We use it to cover that unseen area of life's possibilities we cannot control as when we flippantly offer the semi-encouraging, "Hang in there --- just have faith!" We also use "faith" these days (as in "I have my OWN faith!) to connote the personalized religion we concoct internally to fend off the theological advances by others who seek to engage us in conversations and exchanges. For too many of us, the word "faith" has suffered the same fate as the word "love." It is an all-purpose word that can mean just about anything we want.......sort of a "one size fits all."
Biblical faith, on the other hand, is not so inconsequential or general. It is tied to daily life and performance. It assumes that internal belief leads to external action! It is so powerful that its effects are both seen and unseen, detectable and undetectable. Perhaps the poster I saw years ago has it right: "What we practice, we believe----everything else is just talk!"
True faith is more than my individualized, personal prejudice. It is a living trust and confidence in God. It comes unseen through God's Spirit, but it has marvelous and life-changing repercussions! As in the verse above, faith in the Sovereign God with Whom we life in solemn covenant can heal the human body of disease and heal the human heart from sin. It is a significant cleansing force that restores us inside and out!
Genuine faith is not a "shot in the dark" or "hoping against hope." It is trust in our God and reliance upon Him and His Word. It leads us to rely upon His promises and obey His commands. It makes us regard all His children as our family, and all the world as His arena of action.
Because of that, faith leads to a change in the way we live. It means that we attempt great things for God because faith allows us to see what can be with God's help. Faith sees what is not because true faith's God makes all things possible! People who have that kind of faith truly move mountains of doubt, despair, and opposition. No hurdle is too great for faith in God!
During World War II, psychologist E. Paul Torrance made a study of United States aces flying in the Pacific theater of operations. He reported that the most salient characteristic of the ace was his risk-taking ability. Throughout his life, he had kept testing the limits of his abilities. And the life histories of these men showed that they were highly resistant to accidents, and in combat they suffered fewer casualties than pilots who were inclined to play it safe. Dr. Torrance said, "Living itself is a risky business. If we spent half as much time learning how to take risks as we spend avoiding them, we wouldn't have nearly so much to fear in life."
This week all of us will have numerous opportunities to "live by faith." We can give in to our fears and despairs, or we can trust God and live life fully! Live by faith this week......faith in God and faith in His Word. Trust Him when you understand and when you do not. Simply trust Him and rely upon Him. In a week, you'll be amazed at what He did with you in just seven days. God bless you as you life the "faith life," the life of trust.