By Patrick Hawthorne
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3 NKJV)
Faith… If ever there was a top ten list of Biblical subjects on the most debated list, the subject of faith would probably be in the top five only to be surpassed by the subject of God’s sovereignty, speaking in tongues, tithing, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Being as I am not a glutton for punishment, I choose to refrain from addressing those other issues at this particular moment.
One reason I believe that many of us have moments where we doubt our faith is because we don’t fully understand the makeup of what faith really is. It is not, as some suppose, a mental assent into a higher level of positive thinking or wishful thinking. No, faith in and of itself has substantive properties firmly founded on the law or principle of the Word of God for it to have power. The problem is that one group gets all hokey with faith and turns it into wishful thinking while another group makes excuses for why they don’t operate in faith by making it a by gone product assigned only to the early Church. Both groups are equally wrong yet like to accuse each other of not knowing the truth.
Do you realize that you use faith on a daily basis? Think about it. Every time you turn on your radio, you have faith that you will hear music. You may not think of it as faith because it has become such a common act. Nevertheless, you have faith that billions and billions of tiny electromagnetic waves, traveling the earth in mere microseconds, will jump into your radio at such and such a frequency so that you can hear your favorite music. Your faith is based on proven scientific laws and principles. If something goes awry, you don’t blame the electromagnetic waves; you blame the receiver for not operating correctly and try to fix the problem.
The exact same principle works with Godly faith. Firstly, as with the electromagnetic waves, our faith must be founded on a principle or a law. In the case of faith, the principle or law must come from the Word of God; the Word is faiths power source. When we begin to confess the Word – yes, speak the Word…out loud – over our situation we are putting our hope in God with the conviction (evidence) that we will receive what we ask as long as it is in accordance to His Word. (John 15:7.)
We see this through the life of Abraham. He had such a conviction (evidence of faith) in the promise of God that nothing could sway him from that promise. Now, I’m not suggesting that Abraham did everything perfect, but his conviction in God to keep His Word was so strong that he is our example in how to walk out faith. Faith is not a sometimes here sometimes there issue, but is a lifetime walk in which we frame our world, day by day, by the Word and the promises of God.
“Well, I tried that faith thing once and it did not work for me.” By faith, Abraham left his home country and family in search for a land promised to him by God. By faith, Abraham waited 25 long years before the birth of his promised son, Isaac. Faith without corresponding action is dead. (James 2:14-26.) The action of walking out the promise is the evidence (the conviction) of what we hope for.
How you frame – construct – your world is entirely up to you. You can either frame it by confessing the negativity of the world, or you can frame it by standing on the promises of God. The choice is yours. I hope you choose to stand. Be blessed.