wrapping my hands around faith

Let’s start with a few key passages (certainly not all inclusive … but some of my favorites) of Scripture in this personal exercise regarding faith …

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that IN Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might RECEIVE THE PROMISED SPIRIT THROUGH FAITH. Galatians 3:10-14 (ESV)

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, THE AUTHOR AND PERFECTER OF FAITH, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NASB)

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (ESV)

And without faith it is impossible to PLEASE him (God), for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)

Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, OUR GOD WHOM WE SERVE IS ABLE to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. BUT IF NOT, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. Daniel 3:14-18 (ESV)

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is GROWING abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your STEADFASTNESS and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are ENDURING. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 (ESV)

He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and NOTHING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE for you.” Matthew 17:20 (ESV)

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith BY HIS POWER, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (ESV)

Here’s my work-in-process definition/understanding of faith …

  • Faith is grounded in Christ Jesus … PERIOD.
  • Faith flourishes and lives in our love relationship with Jesus, the brethren and world around us.
  • Faith declares that my hope is IN God and His plans, purpose and will … not my own
  • Faith says ‘God is able’ and ‘I am not’
  • Faith is based on God’s ability, character and promises … it is not based on always getting ‘our’ way … in fact, getting ‘His’ way and wanting it to be ‘our’ way is the objective
  • Faith confesses ‘God’s will, not mine, be done’.
  • Faith exercised is how we please God … confirming our belief, declaring our trust and exercising our passion to draw near to Him.
  • Faith grows according to the hand of God in the midst of all our circumstances and relationships … before taking any credit for endurance or steadfastness, remember Jesus is the author and perfecter of faith.
  • Faith, in small doses like a mustard seed, unleashes the great power of both the heavenly and abiding presence of God … Father, Son and Holy Spirit … IN and THRU our lives and the lives of those surrounding us … to do the impossible … ALL for the glory of God.

So what would you add or take away?

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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4 Responses to wrapping my hands around faith

  1. jimdavenport says:

    Not sure, but you may the one that originally passed this along to me:
    “Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God. Faith puts God between us and our circumstances.” F. B. Meyer (8 April 1847 – 28 March 1929)

    Jim

  2. Your definition/understanding is remarkable in many ways, most interesting to me is that it is almost exactly opposite to the definition of faith so popularly held. Faith is most often thought of as the means of getting “things”. Your understanding shows a very different outcome of or purpose for faith. Thank you!

    • bwebbjr says:

      Richard, as you already know, such an understanding is only possibly by the teaching and conviction of the Holy Spirit. Human wisdom and knowledge is pure folly … as Paul wrote … we have the mind of Christ … and spiritual things can only be discerned and understood by the Spirit. So thankful for your kind words and God’s promised Holy Spirit to teach all believers. Bernie

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