(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
We have a lot of knowledge in our world; tools to see, understand and monitor things we once simply trusted. What then is the benefit of faith, or believing in things unseen?
We still need faith today. It stirs up hope and reminds us that something greater than this world, and greater than us, is in control. We might not always see the end result, and it might not always make sense at first, but in faith we trust God and live with our hope in Him.
“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” (Hebrews chapter 11, verse 3)
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Faith gives us hope
We have something greater to look forward to than anything the world can promise; the unfailing promises of God, the assurance of His love, and the hope in His eternal kingdom.
Hebrews shows us where the heart and home of the faithful lie:
“But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews chapter 11, verse 16)
The men and women mentioned in Hebrews 11 did not always live to see the fulfillment of every promise they were told about, but they obeyed God and trusted Him. Through faith, they put their hope in God, and that hope blossomed into eternal life with Him.
Will we trust God? Will we put our hope in Him? Not the miracle, not the answered prayer, not the blessing, but in God Himself whose hope is eternal. If we have this hope in God, tragedy and trouble can strike us, and we will not be destroyed. We can be obedient to God even when we do not see the end outcome, as our goal is not earthly success, but the reward of seeing the glory of God.
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Faith gives us strength
Where we have faith, we have strength. This is because faith, by definition, requires a relinquishing of our own knowledge, our own control and our own strength. Instead, in faith, we need to rely on someone else and find our strength in them.
People put their faith in self, others, reputation, popularity, fun, even drugs and alcohol. While all these things might seem to strengthen initially, their power eventually fails. What happens when we choose instead to place our faith in God?
Faith in God means the measure of our own strength becomes void. Instead, we allow God to be our empowerment. This renewed strength far surpasses our every ability. It helps us to stand up for truth when the truth is unpopular; to hope when life throws despair at us; to persevere when we are worn out and tired. God lifts us up in His strength and carries us when we have nothing to give. His strength never fails.
“The Lord is their strength,
And He is the saving refuge of His annointed.
Save Your people,
And bless Your inheritance;
Shepherd them also,
And bear them up forever.”
(Psalm chapter 28, verses 8-9)
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Faith protects us from the enemy
The song, “Raise a Hallelujah” (Bethel Music), has the following lyrics:
“I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me…”‘
Faith is a powerful declaration that we believe God’s promises are true, that His word will come to pass, and that He will be victorious. Ephesians speaks about putting on the spiritual armour that will help us to overcome the enemy. Faith forms a part of this armour.
“… above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” (Ephesians chapter 6, verse 16)
We take up faith and hold it as a shield by declaring the true word of God. We are who He says we are; beloved children, a royal priesthood, a people loved by Him, and saved through grace. He will see us through every season, keep us through every trial, and He will defeat the enemy. In faith we pray, in faith we worship, and in faith we declare God’s victory over every doubt, every attack of the enemy, and every situation.
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We still need faith
Where would we be without faith? Everyone needs to put their faith in something or someone to have an assurance that there is hope in life. Without faith, hope and strength are extinguished, leaving all the trials and troubles of the world to overwhelm instead.
Faith answers questions of:
- Will I trust the goodness of God when the world seems unfair?
- Will I surrender my own strength, and my own will to acknowledge the omnipotence and omniscience of God?
- Will I choose to declare the promises of God over my life, my country, and my world?
We still need faith, and we also need to know where and in whom to place that faith. So, let us lift up our faith and put our trust in God who never fails.