What comes to your mind when you hear these scriptures, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” or, “The just shall live by faith.”
I am convinced that in the coming days, and coming years we in the West will need to understand and live this scripture out more than ever.
You see when scripture speaks of faith it is always speaking of putting our faith in the character and nature of God. What do I mean by that?
Biblical faith is not some magic power. Its not a force in itself, but it is a connection a window to the divine. The writer of Hebrews says this in chapter 11 verse 6, “That without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
So there are two foundational principles that must exist for faith to be genuine. One we must believe that there is a God. Not just any god, but the God of all creation, the God of the Universe, the God who made man in his own image, and is active in the affairs of man. The second is the following; we must believe in the goodness of God. Hebrews mentions this God as a rewarder; not just a rewarder of anyone but of those who diligently seek him.
So God in his nature is a giving God. Think about it. When you see a fruit tree, whom was the tree made for? Fruit trees are not just made to be looked upon, but for their fruit to be tasted of and enjoyed. God made this earth for us. He wants us to enjoy his creation, but more importantly to enjoy him. God is in his nature good. He is a good God. This is our default position and understanding of God no matter what circumstance or situation we are in. Yes there are things that we may not understand, Yes there will be difficult times, but in your difficult time, whether it be sickness, death, loss, or failure even in those God is there, and God is good. I do want to go back to Hebrews and the last part of verse 6 where it says God rewards those who diligently seek him. You know that eliminates a lot of us, because a lot of times we don’t even seek God. How do I seek God? We seek God through prayer, through fellowship with other believers, through worship, but primarily his Word. Part of believing in the goodness of God means believing that God has left a reliable form of communication for us to be able to trust. That is his Word. We must believe that his Word is true, and that his Word is relevant, and that his Word is for us and to us.
We are living in a time where men see God’s Word as irrelevant, while they see themselves as self-sufficient. We possess all that we need. There is no need for a god, because god is just a figment of our imagination, a crutch for the mentally handicapped, a delusion for the weak. We are full of ourselves, full of our sin, we are the masters of our own destiny and the captains of our own ship. A ship racing to destruction.
The problem is that when things are good, we have no need for a God, and when things are bad we feel as if God does not care, he does not see, he’s not interested, or not powerful enough to change our circumstances.
We are living in days where our idols of wealth are eroding before our eyes. Unemployment is rising, distrust with our government is at an all time high, Despite our advanced medical achievements, many are not able to afford treatment, and despite our education there is an emptiness, a feeling of purposelessness that pervades our lives.
We need God. You see the Christian God is unlike any God in any other religion. This God did not only see the painful effects of sin, of sickness and death. He came and lived as a man, and dwelt among an oppressed people, a victimized nation, who were looking for hope. Not only did he live among the hurt and oppressed, he too was oppressed, he too was betrayed, beaten, talked about, and murdered, though he was innocent. His name was slandered, his just intentions misinterpreted, his love unrequited, and he understands our pain and suffering more that any man in the history of the world. He willingly died on a cross to take the punishment for our sins. The punishment however was not just the physical beating and suffocation from the cross, but the far greater punishment was the wrath, and feeling of separation from his father and judgment for our sins. We will never know what that was like, but if you could imagine the weight of every sin of humanity, to be placed on you, every rape, every murder, every lie, every beating from every slave, from every abused wife, every molestation, he knows it because he took it upon himself. All for his elect.
So whatever you are going through, I want you to stop and realize that Christ knows, he understands he is with you and will reward you as you diligently seek him. You must first put your trust in him and believe. Because for us to walk with God, we must first believe that he is, and that he wants to walk with us as well. He’s already proven himself, its your turn to trust in him.