Up until recently, I had a different and rather incomplete perspective of what faith is. What does it really mean to have/exercise faith?
Well, I thought faith was mainly believing something or finding a way to convince yourself of something, though there isn't necessarily full evidence of it. I also figured that having great faith included something like 'speaking things into being'.
So if I simply say, "I will be successful", is that having faith?
I guess we can agree that simply saying it will not suffice but we must also believe...right?
Okay so how about "Lord, surely I believe that You will allow me to become... or to receive..."
Sounds better right?
But does it stop there? Does faith -in its truest sense- stop at belief?
Am I really exercising faith by solely thinking or saying that "I believe" ?
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
-When we believe that it is going to rain, we bring an umbrella.
-When we expect a financial crisis in the future, we save more now.
-When we believe that the temperature will decrease significantly,we carry a coat.
There is no guarantee that any of these will happen, but because we are conviced, we take action.
When we believe, expect, or are convinced... WE GET READY; WE ACT.
And so similarly, when God tells us that He is going to do something or we say that we believe, WE SHOULD PREPARE ourselves and then wait expectantly with outstretched palms as opposed to tapping our fingers and aimlessly looking around...
"Faith without works is dead."
My favourite example of extreme faith in the Bible is the story of Abraham and Isaac.
" By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death."
It amazes me still! The willingness of Abraham lines up with his faith. He must have been confused for a moment. "...but God I thought You said..."
-God is really the only one with the last say. [Amen]
-God's promises always come true. [Thank God!]
-God is not a God of confusion. [Praise God]
Abraham was so sure that God wasn't trying to punish him. He was so sure that some way, somehow God's promises would still stand.
He was man of GREAT faith.
~* Lord,if I can be like Abraham, then that is my desire. I know it will require enduring difficult tests and trials that result in confusion, but I pray dear God that the journey I am currently on, will lead me to a place where my faith will be increased tremendously. For I now understand that without faith, it is impossible to please You. *~