September 18, 2017
- By Ed Powell
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
This is a very simple statement, but carries a profound heart-searching truth. The Scriptures tell us that "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6). We might ask, "What is spiritual faith?" The author writes in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the assurance [the confirmation, the title-deed] of things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see, and the conviction of the reality, faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses" (Amplified).
That simply means, if we can see any tangible evidence of what we hope for, then faith is not exercised in obtaining it. Faith lays hold of nothing, sees nothing, has no factual foundation of obtaining its objective, and claims it as a reality. In Mark 11:22 we read, "Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith."
Faith means I have to step out into the uncharted waters into the deep, where I do not see anything (Matthew 14:29). Oswald Chambers writes, "Faith in my notions, my understanding, my evaluation, my ability, or gifts, means that I must clear the ground first by my intelligence. Faith is not intelligent understanding, or the result of debating the issue. Faith is the deliberate commitment to Jesus Christ when I see no way. When I have to weigh the pros and cons, and doubt and debate come in, I am bringing in an element that is not of God and has no relation to faith."
When we exercise spiritual faith, we are trusting in the integrity and invincible character of God. Our heart is established on the eternal truth that God is holy love. We fling ourselves in reckless confidence in the unchanging infinite truth of His Word. Faith operates from a singleness of heart, a definitive purpose to pursue without wavering, a life that is abandoned to His will, and seeks to magnify His name in all of our life.
Faith by its very nature must be tried. When we encounter some trying experience, it will reveal the reality of our faith. It will bring to light whether our faith is an intellectual assent to the truth, or if our faith proceeds from a personal relationship with Christ. God tries us to purify our faith, our life, and our relationship with Him (1 Peter 1:7).
Faith is the whole man rightly related to God by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit that finds expression in trusting God when we have nothing to lean on but God. Faith rests alone on the verity and validity of Almighty God. Faith is not of us; it is the operation of God, whereby all believers are endowed from above.
It is faith that lifts us "above" our circumstances while we are yet "in" them. It enables us to live with things that are future and invisible. It gives sustenance to the believer, provides evidence of the truth, and reality that will secure him from falling, whatever the trial may be.
When we exercise faith, we are putting our confidence, trust, and reliance in the "infallible character and integrity of God," and the merits of His Son Jesus Christ. "And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith" (1 John 5:4).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-09-18
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