When things are a struggle in life does your faith come alive or do you think, “Here we go again,”? Our reaction to life’s ups and downs should always be answered by an unwavering faith in our trustworthy God. But let’s be honest most of us aren’t so unwavering, are we? And anyway what does it really mean to have faith?
Let’s take a little look at faith. The word itself in the Greek means persuasion, belief or conviction of the truth. I’m willing to admit that I’ve been persuaded and at times believed things that were not consistent with God’s nature or His word.
It’s the last part of that definition, “conviction of the truth” that has caused me and many others problems. Why? Because I’ve often been convinced of facts and not truth, but facts can change, truth never changes.
What do I mean by that? Let me give you an example. This week I may have all of my bills paid and plenty of money in the bank. That may be a fact. However one major catastrophe and my bank account is now depleted. Now the original fact has changed to reflect the fact that now I’m broke. So if I’m bound by the facts I’m now fretting, in fear and probably panicking.
The truth in the situation is that I belong to the God who has the name of Jehovah Jireh or in plain English, The Lord Provides. A more literal translation would be “God will see to it”. He has been “seeing to it” since before the world was created. In fact the plan of salvation was in place, as Revelation 13:8 tells us, from the “foundation of the world.”
But am I convinced of this truth; the truth that God will see to my needs? Am I persuaded that He has my best interest in mind? I would like to say, “Yes,” and in our hide the truth Christian culture, I have. “How are you doing Pastor Chris?” “I’m great. I’m blessed. I’m an overcomer.” But really I’m hurting, I’m broken, I’m putting on a show for you. I’m a pastor; I’m supposed to have it all together. I’ve let my circumstances define my reality. I’m looking at facts again, not truth.
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17(NASB)
Sanctify means to be made pure. Truth makes us pure. The ultimate source of truth is God’s word.
Through the word of God we are exposed to truth and that truth purifies us. Purifies the way we process things. It purifies the way we react in situations. As truth penetrates us it changes our minds about what we have faith in.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NASB)
The New Living Bible says it this way:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
God transforms us by changing the way that we think. He actually reprograms us so we think like He thinks. We think and process through the eyes of faith. Faith sees God’s promises as truth that cannot not be true. Because we hold God’s word as the highest authority the ever changing facts of our circumstances take a back seat to that which must be true.
This is how the Bible define faith for itself.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Be assured and be convinced by God’s word because faith come by hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17). So stop crossing your fingers and just wishing things would change. Instead dive into your Bible and experience God like you never have before.
If you want to learn more about how to live a life of faith, join us this Sunday. Here’s a hint the title of the lesson is Stop Crossing Your Fingers and Hoping for the Best.