Hebrews 11:1-2, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. … 6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
A number of years ago I was discussing the Bible with a friend and he explained his problem to me. He said that a pastor told him he just needed to believe, that he just needed to have faith. He then said to me that "unless you actually see something, there was no way you can really know for sure it is true, so then how can anyone have faith", he asked? I said, “you’ve got to be kidding” I can name a hundred things I have not seen that I know to be true. From that point on, we went around in circles. Frustrated, I sarcastically asked him, was Abraham Lincoln once president of the United States? He replied, “I can’t know that for sure” … I knew I had a big challenge here.
"Faith is the foundation on which all our hopes for the future are built." So the question is: "what type of faith are we to have as Christians?" At a low point in my career, a friend once said to me “I thought you were a Christian, I thought you had faith?” I responded, “I don’t have blind faith.” From my perspective, "my faith in Christ, and my faith in the future of my business" were two totally different issues. Reread: Positive Thinking is Biblical. Is Biblical Faith a matter of Positive Thinking? ... No! Biblical faith and positive thinking are distinct and different viewpoints. If my friend had said to me, that I had a negative attitude about the future success of my business, he would have been correct ... and in the end, sorry to say, my negative conclusions reflected a correct assessment on my part.
“Biblical faith is based solely on scriptural facts. Faith standing on the facts of the word of God substantiates and gives evidence of things not seen. And everyone knows that evidence must be founded on facts. Each of us who are Christians started on this principle when we were born again—our belief stood directly on the eternal fact of the redeeming death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15 1-4) This is the faith by which we began and it is the same faith by which we are to stand” 1 Cor. 16:13 and walk (2 Cor. 5:7) and live (Gal. 2:20b). As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him Col 2:6.
Our experiences, feelings, ideas, and the teachings of the world to a large degree will only get in the way of Biblical faith. Paul clearly explains this in: 1 Corinthians 3:19-21 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “the Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless. So then let no one boast in men." We must test our experiences, feelings, Ideas, and the teachings of the world against God’s word so that we will understand the truth and only then can we have the Biblical faith needed to stand upon God’s truth.
A temptation is for us to follow our human logic and make decisions according to what we want to be true. Another temptation is to assume that because we want for our plans to succeed and because we have prayed about it ... that our supposed need is God’s will. Understanding that America has big problems and thinking we are in for troubled times is not a lack of faith. Recognizing the consequences of foolish leadership or the problems that face the world is being realistic. Can God deliver America from the challenges that face our nation? Certainly. Will he deliver America? We can only pray. Biblical faith will lead each of us to seek out God’s wisdom and leading in light of the realities that he has placed before us and then hopefully we will have the courage to do what he leads each of us to do.
“The question must always be: Has God spoken it in his word?” Faith needs facts to give it power. Those facts are the word of God. How can I know these facts are true? That is where my faith comes in. I have chosen to take verses like these literally. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Also read: Psalm 139
Alexander Hay wrote: “Faith must be based upon certainty. There must be definite knowledge of God’s purpose and will. Without that there can be no true faith. For faith is not a force that we exercise or a striving to believe that something shall be, thinking that if we believe hard enough it will come to pass. That may be positive thinking but certainly not Biblical faith.”
I thank God that I did not quit witnessing to my friend that I mentioned at the beginning of this post … who could not be sure about whether Abraham Lincoln was president. Less than a month before he died, he prayed for Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord. Now I look forward to seeing him again in heaven.
1 Peter 1:7-9 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. God Bless You, My Friends … Bob
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Reference: The Complete Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford
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