Does having faith mean that we never have a problem? How do we live by faith when confronted with difficulties and challenges that steal our joy and peace? A proper understanding of faith is crucial to living.
We take a step of faith every time;
- We leave the house.
- We drive up to a four-way stop.
- We go out to eat.
Life requires faith. What or whom you put your faith in makes all the difference.
In Hebrews 11:1, we learn that “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” The phrase, “things hoped for,” is not our wish list, but God’s promises.
The Bible is filled with promises God has made to you! God’s promises are greater than the overwhelming odds and crushing circumstances facing you!
The word assurance in Hebrews 11:1 is a compound Greek word, hypostasis, and means (hypo) under (stasis) stand. Hypostasis infers something as reality, real or solid. Faith makes the promises of God a reality.
When assurance of faith is paired with conviction, this means we view God’s promise as a reality while we wait on it to materialize.
“20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
God’s promises are a sure thing! The word “amen” is not a catchphrase at the end of a prayer; Amen means “so be it.” It’s a declaration of trust in God. All of God’s promises find their “yes and amen” in Jesus, which is why we pray in Jesus name.
When Abraham was promised that he would be the father of many nations and his wife Sarah would give birth to a son, they were well past the parenting age, they were almost past the grand-parenting age, but they trusted God.
You don’t have to understand “how” God will fulfill His promises, just trust He will.
Being a man or woman of faith doesn’t mean we are absent of doubt. On one occasion, Jesus was met by a man who had a sick son, who had tried everything to help him get well.
When this man confronted Jesus, he said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” Mark 9:24
Unbelief is not an automatic faith quencher. Unbelief quenches faith only when we choose to side with unbelief and not Jesus. Know and trust the promises of God.
Whatever appears impossible to you is simply a circumstance that needs to be confronted with God’s promises.
Here are four obstacles to living by faith.
#1 Attachment to the past.
If you are looking continually to the past, you are extinguishing faith for the future. Faith is forward-looking because that’s where the fulfillment of God’s promises are.
Jesus put it like this, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62
#2 Attachment to temporary things.
Remember the parable of Jesus and the rich young ruler, Matthew 19? He asked Jesus what must he do to inherit eternal life, and Jesus told him to sell all he had and give the profit to the poor.
The man walked away sad because he had a lot; he was more attached to earthly possessions than to the promises of God.
Faith is active. In the long list of men and women of faith (Hebrews 11), no one is mentioned because they sat around and did nothing. Eighteen times in the forty verses of chapter eleven, the phrase “by faith” is used.
#4 What I feel, what I see.
“we live by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
Our senses can deceive us and cause us to question the faithfulness of God. Feelings can betray us and keep us from standing with assurance and conviction on what God’s word says.
Faith isn’t a magic wand to make life easier. Faith activates the promises of God in your life no matter what you’re facing. Stand on the promises of God. God has never faltered on a promise, ever!