Faith is one of the most preached and taught on topics in the Bible, and rightly so. Jesus Himself said that it has the power to move mountains. Without faith there is no hope, and nothing that connects us with God and His mighty power. We are saved from eternal damnation by faith in Jesus and His sacrificial death.
Because we put our faith in God, and trust Him to fulfill His promises no matter the circumstances, we endure and we overcome. It is unwavering faith in God that strengthens the believer to walk by faith instead of by sight.
Abraham, our father of faith, led the way by showing us how to hold on to God’s promise while his circumstances deteriorated before his eyes. Barren all their lives, old age offered them no hope of giving birth to a child of their own. Add to this the fact that it took 25 long years before Isaac was born. There was more than one reason why having a child of their own was impossible, yet “he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” (Romans 4:20) After holding on to God’s promise for so long, against all reason, Isaac was born; a true testimony of God’s ability to make the impossible happen.
The Bible’s Hall of Faith – Hebrews chapter 11 – lists the names of ordinary people that put their faith in God and accomplished the impossible. Faith in God and His Word is a mighty force that backs down for nothing and nobody. It is a shield that protects the believer against the darts of our enemy, rendering us invincible to him.
Contrary to some perceptions out there, faith is not positive thinking; it is believing God’s unfailing Word against all natural evidence. King David understood the power for God’s Word when he wrote:
Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89
I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name. In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul. Psalm 138:2,3
Having looked at the testimony of those that kept the eye on the Lord instead of their circumstances, there is a dimension of faith that is seldom spoken about. It is faith that looks beyond your own needs to a much bigger picture. Unwavering to the end, looking at God’s grand agenda, it holds on to His plan and promise that excludes personal benefit. The promises of God extend beyond our lifetime, and we have been honoured with a stewardship to hold them dear, talk about it, and pass it on to a generation that will see it come to pass.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Hebrews 11:13
The very way we think, talk and live keep the faith alive as a witness to those that follow after us. Dying in faith is a major accomplishment, whether we receive the promises or not. There is no doubt that Abraham would have loved to see his offspring as many as the sand on the sea shore, but he didn’t – he saw only one. But his faith in God to the end made it possible in our day. He never walked in the promised land as a citizen, yet his faith made it possible for those that came after him. And not only that, Abraham’s faith endures even now, and until the city that has no foundations, whose builder and maker is God, becomes our eternal dwelling.
Because we are stewards of God’s promises, there is never a good time to let go of our faith, or allow unbelief to take root in our hearts. May it be the confession of every believer that we never give up on His faithfulness, even if we fail to see it happen in our own lives. We have no right to change direction and leave the path cut out by those before us, and point those that follow us to a life of doubt and unbelief.
Yes, even if ill health causes me to die prematurely, I believe there is healing in His wings and that He took my pains and griefs to the cross so that I can be healthy. If poverty robs me of the abundant life that Jesus came to give me (John 10:10), I will die believing He is my Shepherd who desires that I lack nothing, and give my children something to hold onto.
Abel’s life was cut short, but his offering of an excellent sacrifice still speaks, “…God, testifying of his gifts, and through it he being dead still speaks.” (Hebrews 11:4)
True believers have the ability to speak of God’s faithfulness even after death. Your voice will continue to echo God’s eternal Word until the last day, because it cannot be silenced by the grave. Faith in God binds us to Him with a chord that cannot be broken; it is a conduit that transports His power to us on earth; a never ending testimony of His love for humanity.
O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.Psalm 71:17,18