The word "faith" brings many things to mind. There are the questions that we may ask each other such as, "What Faith are you?" Meaning, what church do you attend or whom do you worship.
We may hear the word "faith" and think of those great men and women of the Bible who we are told had great faith. For example, the centurion who trusted Jesus to heal his servant from afar in Luke 7. Jesus said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel".
The question we need to ask ourselves is, what or Who is our faith in? Is it valid? How does that really show itself in our lives?
Are faith and hope the same things?
I don't think so. I believe that faith is believing in something or someone without the ability to understand or comprehend the how or the why our faith is justified.
2 Corinthians 5:7 tells us that we live by faith not by sight. Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
When we hope for something it is an uncertainty in our minds but when we have faith, it is for us as if it has already happened.
For example, our salvation and home in heaven. We must have faith to believe that Jesus is really God and that He truly was able to pay the penalty for our sins. None of us sat down with God and were personally face to face in on the planning and execution of the plan. We have faith, if we believe, that the Word of God is true and we have help and assistance in this believing faith through the Holy Spirit who witnesses in our hearts and lives that this is true. But, the fact remains that we do not have first hand knowledge of any of it.
It would be impossible for any one of us to insist that we knew from personal experience that heaven exists and that it is the end result of our walk of faith.
My Grandpa had what you might call a "near death" experience. It was a faith builder for him. Did he see heaven, I don't know. He didn't know, but it strengthened his faith and desire to serve the Lord.
Now, before you stone me....let me say that I believe with my whole heart that Jesus did die for my sins and that HE was the only one who could have been the substitute. I believe that I will be in Heaven when I die not because of any special work on my part...but only because of the faith granted to me by my Father, God Himself, through the Holy Spirit. This brings peace. I have no one to talk to who has been there and back and can give me intimate details and confirmation that all of this is real. I simply believe it.
In my every day life, I have faith that my Heavenly Father is caring and watching out for me. I know, from personal experience that bad things can happen. Losing both of our fathers in less than two years was pretty bad. Both fathers suffered intensely. Horrible. Did it shake my faith? No. Only by the grace of God, it did not. I "saw" God's hands in so many details. I "felt" Him near when things were so dark.
During this time I struggled with extreme pain. The doctors were at a loss as to what was causing it. I had three surgeries in less than two years and almost succombed to a horrible infection. Did this cause me to lose faith?
No, how could I have made it through without this faith?
Instead, the Holy Spirit again worked in the circumstances of the pain and I am stronger in my faith today than I was before. Why? I don't know. I do know that I would hate to face any of these thing without the faith that there is something a whole lot better to look forward to.
I have heard the arguement that Christians are weak and profess faith to help them make it through hard times. OK. If that is what you want to think...but there are many Christians in this world who would be a lot better off, in this world if they denied their faith. I do not think they are wimps. Me, maybe...them...not so much!
For stories such as these read from the Voice of the Martyrs. These people are actively acting out their faith.
I'll be honest and tell you that I love apologetics. Every month or week it seems that archeology goes further to document the words written in the Bible. The history backs up the Word. Science discoveries come closer and closer to the Bible all the time, if people are honest. In the book of The Psalms we are told that there are "paths" through the sea. It was not until the 1800's that currents were understood and documented. There are several credible organizations ... and some with questionable abilities and motives...studying these things, but the more we learn the more we can see God, the Creator.
All of that aside, it would not be enough without a supernatural intervention in our lives to grant us saving faith. I am thankful today that God has granted that to those He calls His own. I trust that you have saving faith. If not and you wish to chat, feel free to e-mail me your questions.
Saving Faith - Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. A gift, not us, lest we should boast. A future not seen and yet fully believed. With HIM! The one who died for me.