What is the Definition of Faith
The definition of faith according to Merriam-Webster is: “1: strong belief or trust in someone or something : belief in the existence of God : strong religious feelings or beliefs“. This is a pretty straight forward so lets look at Dictionary of Bible Themes: “Confidence in and commitment to God and Jesus Christ. These attitudes remain sure even though the objects of faith are unseen. True faith is seen in obedient action, love and continuing good works.” In the first definition, it does not go to the heart of what faith is. Anyone may believe in God, yet not have a true faith in who God really is. The second definition gets down to brass tacks and uses the word “commitment”. Faith in God is about dedicating our lives to Him.
What Does the Bible Say About Faith?
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
When we are going through hard times, our faith can falter, even make us feel torn from our belief in God. We lose our “confidence” in God, God does not leave us. Looking at the verse above, faith is not about what we can see or feel. It’s about what we know or rather WHO we know.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Even when we feel like God is distant, remember what He says not what we feel.
Who are Characters of Great Faith in the Bible?
There are many cases of faith in God’s Word but a good place of reference is in the Faith Hall of Fame. The 11th chapter of Hebrews is often referred to in this manner.
Hebrews 11: 3-16
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: ‘He could not be found, because God had taken him away.’ For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
” Hebrews 11:4–16 gives examples of figures from the Old Testament who demonstrated faith in God and were blessed as a result. Persons such as Abel, Noah, Abraham, and Sarah are commended for their trust in God’s promises. In particular, this segment of the book of Hebrews focuses on those who heard from God, obeyed, and were blessed. While their actions are important, the common theme of these early references is obedience to God when fulfillment of His promises seems distant.” Bible Ref
What Does it Mean to Have Faith in Jesus?
“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 NIV
Having faith in Jesus is about what He has done for us. We know He died and arose again but what did He accomplish on the cross? He took all of the sin from everyone, placed it on Himself and died in our place. We cannot have fellowship with God covered in our sin. When we have faith in Jesus, accept His gift, God does not see our sin. We can have fellowship here on earth with Him and later in heaven.
We cannot forget the fact that Jesus did not stay dead. Without this, His death would be for nothing. His resurrection is proof of who He is, GOD.
Where Does Faith Come From?
“For by grace you are saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
In the verse above we see that faith itself is a gift from God. This way we do not have any reason to brag about what we do but know the source of everything.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17 NKJ
What is the Power of Faith in God?
“And His imcomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,” Ephesians 1: 19-20 NIV
“God is powerful. God’s power is great. The greatness of God’s power is immeasurable. And perhaps the most amazing thing of all is that God’s power is toward us.
This is so amazing and encouraging. The same power that was used to raise Christ from the dead is the same power that is being used right now to change you and make you a more mature and holy believer in the Lord. The same power that was used to seat Christ at the right hand of the Father is the same power that is being used right now to sanctify you in holiness and righteousness and make you look more like Jesus.” The Highland
We are able to overcome obstacles in our lives because of God’s power that comes to us through His Son Jesus Christ. This is how we as weak human beings are able to grow spiritually in the Lord. God wants us to become more like Him and that example is in His Son.
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
Paul had plenty of trials, one of which we don’t know much about, his “thorn in the flesh”. Three times he prayed and the Lord did not remove it. His weakness is the perfect place for God’s strength to shine. What was Paul’s response? He wants the power of Christ to rest on him and we have his example to encourage us in our attitudes.
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