September 5, 2018
By Steve King
Have you considered what it means to live “by faith”? A careful study of Hebrews 11 may surprise you and reveal that some of your assumptions about faith don’t quite line up with biblical reality.
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” i.e., confidence in something. The issue is the object of our faith, not whether we have faith or not. We either place our faith (confidence) in God or a cheap God-substitute. Hebrews 11:6 declares that without faith (confidence in God) it is impossible to please God.
God designed us to live by faith. We were made to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, by placing our hope and confidence in Him. Therefore, we need to feed our faith on God’s Word and especially its truths about Jesus Christ, the final and complete revelation of God to us (Heb 1:1-3).
God tests our faith for our good (Heb 11:17-19; Genesis 22). He is like a parent, coach, trainer, and teacher who diligently gives us “designer discipline” so that our confidence in His character and promises will grow.
Jesus said our hearts always have a treasure (Matthew 6:21). And God only approves faith that treasures Him (Heb 11:32-40). Evidence of such God-treasuring faith would be that we continue to treasure Him even if He does not give us other things we long for. Hebrews 11:33-37 lists 10 amazing things obtained by faith followed by over a dozen major losses to those who lived by faith. God-treasuring faith is a “but if not” kind of faith exhibited by the three Hebrew youths recorded in Daniel 3. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who is ever on duty to aid us in developing a God-treasuring faith as we behold Jesus Christ in God’s Word (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Remember, Jesus Christ is the author and perfecter of our faith and provides us with the Word of God, the Spirit of God, and the people of God to strengthen our faith.
Join us this coming Sunday as we begin a journey through one of the most perplexing yet “precious to me” books of the Bible, Ecclesiastes. It is perplexing because of its complex structure, negative theme of vanity, and apparently sub-Christian thoughts. It has become precious to me because it contains insights from God regarding the realities of living by faith.