Faith is defined in the Bible as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) A definition in the dictionary says that faith is “confidence or trust in a person or thing.” When we have confidence that God is Who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do, we are only limited by ourselves. Of course, our human nature tends to put limits on God’s abilities, because it can be difficult for our minds to conceive what He can and will do for us. But when we take a step in faith, mountains can be moved. (Matt. 17:20)
Faith is a basic but necessary part of Christian life. By faith, we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. By faith, we believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, suffered and died for our sins, rose from the dead, and sits on the right hand of our Heavenly Father until it is time to return for the Church, His bride.
The Bible is filled with stories of faith, and they are there to show us that we are not alone; that God will rescue us in times of need, and that He will provide for us according to His promises.
Hebrews chapter 11 gives us brief glimpses at the acts of some of the faithful who have gone on before us, but stories of faith are found throughout scriptures. Sarah trusted God when she was told that she would have a child at an age far beyond normal childbearing years, and she was strengthened and gave birth to Isaac. Abraham took God at His word when he was called to journey to a strange new land, not knowing where he was going or what he would find. He trusted God so much that he was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, and the Bible says that Abrahams belief was counted unto him as righteousness (Gen. 15:6).
Moses chose to have faith in God rather than remain in the palaces of Egypt, leading the Israelites out of Egypt. God supplied their needs, providing quail in the evenings and raining down manna from Heaven to eat in the mornings (Ex. 16). With the Egyptians in pursuit, Moses had faith in God, and He parted the waters of the sea, so Moses and the children of Israel could pass safely. Noah trusted God and built the ark, enduring many years of ridicule, and God honored his faith by saving Noah and his family when the world was covered with flood waters.
David had faith in God when he stood against Goliath with only a slingshot and rocks, and God blessed his faith with the defeat of Goliath. God called David a man after his own heart, and the Psalms are full of songs of praise that David wrote to our Heavenly Father. Mary, the mother of Jesus, trusted God when an angel appeared to tell her she had been chosen to bear the Son of God, and Joseph stayed with her, trusting God through that as he was told in dreams, her son was indeed the prophesied Messiah. Peter trusted God when the storms were raging, and Jesus told him to come to him on the seas. Peter did not hesitate, but leapt from the boat in faith, and walked upon the water. It wasn’t until he began to doubt that he began to sink, and Jesus pulled him to safety.
One of my favorite stories is about Enoch, who walked and talked with God, and “he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24). Imagine such a close relationship with God! Growing up I always heard it told as such: God and Enoch were talking, and it grew late in the day. As they continued to walk along, God turned to Enoch and told him, “We are closer to My house than yours; why don’t you just come on Home with me?” As a child and even today, the thought of that fills my heart with joy!
God has made it clear that He will provide all our needs, according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19). There may be days where we have worry and doubt, but God’s love, mercy, and grace is sufficient to meet every circumstance. When we look to ourselves or others, we can lose sight of the blessings available to us as children of God. But when we turn to Him in prayer and have faith in His Word, He is always listening. Remember, He has said that He will never leave nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). Like Peter, when we reach out to Him, He will save us from the deep waters of doubt. He hears, and He provides, because He loves us, and He delights in honoring our faith in Him.
Grace and blessings on your path,