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Substantial, transforming faith comes through God working in our lives. This journey begins when Holy Spirit convicts us of our need for God’s salvation. Let’s refer to this as “the way of salvation.” God’s redemption is the first stage of our journey of faith. Numerous scripture passages are included in the following link:
As God daily renews us and guides us in His ways, we become more like His Son Christ. This isn’t quick, easy, nor a painless process. Daily, we die to our ourselves! This means that we willingly submit to Christ instead of demanding our own human, sinful way. Every follower of Christ daily makes this choice.
Problem with Common Sense and Life of Faith
Faith transcends common sense and reason. Abraham is a good example. Common sense and reason would have kept him comfortable in his home town. Yet, God calls Him on a journey to what would later become the Promised Land. God does the impossible! Old women don’t typically have sons. But, God does the impossible when Isaac is conceived and delivered. Depending on reason or common sense directs a person away from trusting, obeying, and depending on God–especially when God calls one to step out in faith. Abraham’s reason/common sense led him to lie to Pharaoh and impregnate Hagar. His attempts to bring about God’s Promise fell short. Likewise, we can’t bring about God’s Promises through our own efforts.
Walking with God in faith brings reason and common sense into the proper relationship with faith. This simply means that having faith in God leads the pilgrim to consider God’s ability and desire to bring about His plan even when it goes against common sense/reason. Faith opens a heart up to consider things that exceed what one can imagine or explain using human reason! Faith then leads the pilgrim to respond to God’s leading with obedience and trust even when it doesn’t make sense or seem possible!
Remember when Peter steps out of the boat and walks toward Jesus. His common sense and reason would have kept him in the boat! People can’t walk on water. Faith requires something more than common sense and reason.
Faith Requires God’s Revelation
God’s Word is His Revelation. From the first pages of Genesis to the last ones of Revelation, God reveals Himself in creation, through His establishment of His people, coming and ministry of Christ, to the glorious return promised wherein He makes all things right and new. God reveals Himself and that’s the only way that we can rightly “know” and “experience” Him! Man made religions and all false beliefs all start with humanity’s attempt to connect, manipulate, or move God to do or be something contrary to His revealed nature.
Why does faith have to be tested and proven to be true? Why doesn’t God eliminate all doubts, heal every sick person, conqueror death now, and restore our broken dreams? God is glorified when we trust and worship Him during our darkest moments. Faith is just a concept or good thought until we face trials, set backs, and difficulties!
God’s Wonderful Promise from Peter 1:1-11
We know that God has us when all else fails in our lives and we have nowhere else to turn but to Him! Our faith perseveres because He supplies all we need to endure and press ahead! Consider 2 Peter 1:1-11:
for more on this truth
When reading any epistle (letter from church leader) to the early Christians, we need to remember the faith journeys of the author (if known), consider how he walked with Christ, and what he is trying to communicate to the original readers. The Four Gospels and the book of Acts give us the background information and character sketches of the authors of the Epistles: John, Peter, Paul, and James. We don’t know for certain who wrote Hebrews as the letter doesn’t mention author by name.
Recall that Peter failed as a disciple. He promised to stand by his Savior during the time after the Last Supper. He tried to defend Jesus when the temple guards and servants arrested Christ. Yet, before the roster crows, Peter publicly denies Christ three times. He then flees and hides while Christ is crucified. Peter had good intentions, he was courageous and bold speaking his mind and walking with Christ. He loved Jesus and wanted to serve Him faithfully. The problem wasn’t the intent, but the lack of prayer (he was asleep in the garden from sorrow instead of praying with Christ) and his faltering human nature.
Peter is one of my favorite people of the Bible. Like King David, Peter is a man who loves God and seeks to faithfully serve Him as best he can only to realize that his best isn’t good enough! God uses Peter’s story to encourage us! God isn’t done with us when we fail or turn away. Remember that God forgives David after his sin with Bathsheba and Jesus seeks out Peter and gently restores Him! God isn’t done with us!
Like Peter we often have good intentions and desires to serve God. Where we go astray is that like Peter, we try to serve God on our terms and in our own feeble understanding and strength!personal quote
Faith Puts Christ First!
God ordains the circumstances and events of our life to make our faith real! Knowing Christ is crucial! Jesus is a real person not just an idea or spirit that we imagine!
During our journey as believers, we will fight against our sinful nature, this fallen world, experience loss, grief, as well as moments of joy and peace! The nature of faith makes Christ real to us! As Christ and God become real to us, so our lives and journeys of faith will make God evident to others around us!
There is great power in faith! Just read Hebrews 11 for examples of how that God moves in mighty ways through His people! Real faith is limitless! Consider this truth when you face “impossible” situations or difficult people.
A Practical Definition of Faith
Faith means that we are in the right relationship with God! This comes about through the process of sanctification: God’s process to get us into the right relationship with Himself. Each member of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has a role in this process. For more information on the concept of sanctification read:
May God encourage and strengthen your faith as you daily seek Him! For His glory, honor, and your encouragement, I write these words: