“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….” Hebrews 11:1
In layman’s terms, faith is the ability to believe, grasp, perceive God. It is the key God gives us to connect with Him.
Faith is given upon conception along with hope and love (1 Corinthians 13:13) as part of the human package along with all the other tools necessary for existence and survival in this life. But specifically, Faith, Hope, and Love, are critical for fulfilling His purpose for us, and determining our eternal destiny. “…according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Romans 12: 3.
For this reason faith is most apparent in children. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Luke 18:17.
Running the gauntlet of life, these three in particular are bombarded constantly by attacks of temptations, fears, doubts, diversions, distractions, and hurts. Notwithstanding, the fruits of these three are what God our Heavenly Father will be inspecting, which will ultimately determine our success or failure before Him (all things justly considered). Friends, please understand, it is not so much about how well we perform, but that we hold on in spite of all the struggles.
The faith that God requires is that unshakable trust in His Word and the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith can be lost through yielding to indulgences, fears, doubts, but especially unbelief = BEWARE OF WHO YOU LISTEN TO AND WHAT YOU BELIEVE – THE STAKES ARE ETERNAL!!!
LOVE is the ground and atmosphere Faith thrives in; “…faith, which works by love.” Galatians 5:6 “…love… thinks no evil, rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”1 Cor. 13:5-8
NOTE - Speaking of the last days Jesus said, “Because iniquity (lawless sinful behaviour) shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Matthew 24:12. Sin undermines faith, because sin (which is in actuality self-gratifying behaviour) quenches love, and consequentially faith is compromised.
Faith is activated and engaged by obeying the Word of God. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
By the faith in Jesus Christ we reach out beyond the physical world, past the *spiritual realm, and lay hold on the counsel, salvation, and promises, of God Almighty.
*Spiritual Realm – stops short of the Kingdom of God and is where, through deception, the devil attempts to intercept people who are either deliberately or accidentally trying to reach GOD our Creator. It is disguised in religion, mysticism, witchcraft, magic, and the like.
The faith that God requires is a function of our spirit (“God is Spirit.” John 4:24) “With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early;” Isaiah 26:9). Yet for functionality in this natural world it also requires the co-operation of our mind and actions. A mature Christian is expected by God to know, understand, and apply His will in this physical world. “Brethren, be not children in understanding, howbeit in malice be children, but in understanding be men.” 1Corinthians 14:20
A child (or anyone) may not understand the doctrines of the Gospel, but by believing the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ, is nonetheless able to receive the promises by faith because they are not at all dependent on human wisdom, understanding, and ability, but rather in God’s Grace alone. This is what separates true faith from all other forms of human ability. Consequently, this faith enables everyone, young or old, simple, handicapped, or wise, to be able to lay hold of the promises of God and receive from Him the Salvation and Life Jesus purchased for us.
Belief in God in itself does not mean that we have connected with Him. The sin that separates us from Him is only removed through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ Who paid for our sins on the cross at Calvary. The initial evidence of your faith is that you become a new person in Christ. True faith should then lead to a walk of trust and obedience that we need to grow in as we make our journey Heavenward - wherein we can confidently say as the apostle Paul said, “I know whom I have believed.”