Hebrews 11:1-3 (AMP)
Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses]. For by this [kind of] faith the men of old gained [divine] approval. By faith [that is, with an inherent trust and enduring confidence in the power, wisdom and goodness of God] we understand that the worlds (universe, ages) were framed and created [formed, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose] by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
Now faith…I want now faith. The full assurance including the title deed and confirmation of things hoped for divinely guaranteed to me by the Word of God and evidence of things not seen that convict me in the reality of what cannot be experienced by physical senses. This kind of faith allowed men (and women) of old to gain divine approval. I want divine approval. I desire and crave it about all things. By inherently trusting and enduring confidence in the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, my faith understand that everything in this world was framed, created, formed, put in order and equipped for God’s Purpose by His Word which made the impossible possible before time began. If we take our life and put it into the wholeness and completeness of God, our sense of reality will be challenged by a force far greater than the natural occurrences of life to a realm of hope that offers only peace and security in the Presence of God through faithful obedience for righteousness sake. These are a lot of words. Do they express the desire of our heart today? Every Child of the Living God must desire and pursue now faith. It is the reality of our existence that removes us from natural circumstances and eternal consequences to the freedom of a new life in Jesus Christ.
Now faith is simply described as “inherent trust and enduring confidence in the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God, our life must be based on this foundation to truly understand our purpose in life and mission in God to enter Eternity. It begins with the formation of the world that we see now. Earthly education has many possible solutions of how it all began. I refuse to believe that I am an oozing, creeping organism that formed a soulful human being or that I evolved from a lower level creature teaching myself to be. There are days when my faith in God is tested by many other things other than the basic understanding of the relationship between God and mankind. Many believe in Creation, God forming this world from nothing. Others also believe that there is a Heaven and God who inhabits it. The struggle is our existence from our birth to death in this life. Our foundational beliefs make up who we are. Those who waver in life seldom discover their true potential. Christians who waver will not enter the Kingdom of God. See there is a definite purpose in our life from our birthday to the day we leave this world behind. Faith defines our existence beyond what we can see, feel, and touch in this life. It forms our forever. Now faith makes eternal life possible. Do I live by faith? Do I have confident hope?
On these last few days of our Daniel Fast, the Lord has impressed it upon my heart to abstain from all food just water and juice. My flesh immediately rejected the notion as just a whim. When I woke up this morning, I knew it was no whim. I want now faith. The kind of faith that shows those around me the Light of His Love shining through the cracks of my imperfection. The faith that delivers the oppressed, heals the sick, and restores the broken. Why fast? Fasting breaks the hold of our flesh that shapes our reality by what we see rather than Who we know. I want to experience God’s Power, God’s Wisdom and God’s Goodness beyond what I experience here on earth. I want to be absolutely sure that when it is time to stand before Jesus that He knows me. I want Him to be absolutely sure that I love Him with all of my heart. I want Him to welcome me into forever. A place that is spoken of but seldom considered. Every fairytale ends with …and they lived happily ever after. Ever after…forever. It reaches beyond today and the temporary struggles into a vast realm called hope that is available for those who desire now faith and live pursing it.
Hebrews 11:6 (AMP)
But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him…for whoever comes near to God must believe that God exists and rewards those who earnestly and diligently seek Him. I cannot walk with God outside my faith. Blessed assurance allows us to have faith in God. Will we walk it out beyond His Word? We have been given God’s Word which has the power to work in the life of the obedient. God’s Word does not change to match our imperfect but rather it is the perfect truth that completes us. We are constantly trying to drag God and His Word into our situation rather than surrendering our life to the Lord no matter what the outcome or statistics. With each day, we stand in the valley of indecision – trusting the Lord with some things and maintaining control of others depending on the circumstances.
The credibility of faith is revealed the moment when everything tells us not to believe but somehow we still do. God didn’t give us the problems in life – He only provides solutions. If this is true, it means that if our faith was complete our problems would be solved. If only it was that simple, it is. Faith is a lifelong pursuit. Salvation is only the beginning opening the door to a multitude of opportunities for our faith in God to grow and hope to become established.
Hebrews 11:8-12 (AMP)
By faith Abraham, when he was called [by God], obeyed by going to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a foreigner in the Promised Land, as in a strange land, living in tents [as nomads] with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive [a child], even [when she was long] past the normal age for it, because she considered Him who had given her the promise to be reliable and true [to His word]. So from one man, though he was [physically] as good as dead, were born as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand on the seashore.
The Lord has blessed us with five natural children. They are beautiful and wonderful people. It has been our privilege to raise them. They are fruit in our life. When the life of one of them was threatened by cancer, it changed our perspective of life as a whole. Suddenly, death must be considered. We believed that God would heal our son based on His Word and He did. It took more than three years. Statistically, he was “physically as good as dead”…But God had other plans. Now the story could stop there and almost did for the battle of faith was a big one. The finish line crossed on my knees, I surrendered my sword and shield. It was just too much for me. I couldn’t face another giant like the last one. I was done pushing and pursuing or so I thought.
The life of Abraham is proof that God works from beginning to end to complete us. God did keep His Promise in the natural and his natural descendants were as the stars of heaven in number and innumerable as the sand of the seashore, but I don’t think that was all the Lord was referring to. I believe as the end times surround us that those with the faith of Abraham are making a comeback. Those who believe when there is no reason to believe but somehow have just enough faith to make it to the Promised Land. My faith must not be for this life but the life that is coming. It will be built and established by faith that believes there is more to life than this and God’s Word is true enough to build the Kingdom during these adverse times.
In Hebrews 11:17-19, Abraham’s faith would be tested in the sacrifice of his son, Isaac. It is the surrender of this life for the everlasting that is represented here. Are we willing to give our all in order to live by faith? Abraham didn’t believe Isaac would die or at least stay dead. He believed that if it was required of him to plunge that knife through his beloved son’s chest that God would raise up and bring him back to life. (Verse 19) Do you believe that God can bring us new life again? I remember a night I was praying for our son. Things did not look good. I was trying to be strong but hid in the shower praying and crying so our family would not be influenced by my tears. It was in the moment that I realized no matter what happened or the outcome, I would still love and trust the Lord that I was broken. I completely fell apart at the thought that if he did not survive, I would still love my Savior. As a mother, I felt so torn. How could I love a God who took the very thing I held so precious? Who would say that? Who would think that? The one who had nothing left but faith and had to make a choice if she would still believe. You know the saying, the bigger they are the harder they fall. Well, in life this applies to our faith. God will allow whatever is necessary to fulfill our desire for more faith, taking us to the edge of self even allowing our hearts to be broken so He can heal and renew us giving us more if it is what we desire.
Hebrews 11:39-40 (AMP)
And all of these, though they gained [divine] approval through their faith, did not receive [the fulfillment of] what was promised, because God had us in mind and had something better for us, so that they [these men and women of authentic faith] would not be made perfect [that is, completed in Him] apart from us.
John 20:26-29 (AMP)
Eight days later His disciples were again inside the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though the doors had been barred, and stood among them and said, “Peace to you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place it in My side. Do not be unbelieving, but [stop doubting and] believe.” Thomas answered Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, do you now believe? Blessed [happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God] are they who did not see [Me] and yet believed [in Me].”
Lord, I desire now faith. The last couple of verses in Hebrews 11 speaks of those who believed by faith and are now waiting for those who decide to do the same. Those who believe beyond what the can see, what they are going through and life’s experiences with faith and hope. Faith that believes when the impossible comes. Faith that steps over reality into the realm of hope everyday not just sometimes. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment that we all wait for. The belief in His Arrival was all the Old Testament men and women needed to follow the Lord and live extraordinary lives in the midst of the ordinary. They had nothing to rely on but the Word of God. It was enough to have now faith. Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are they who did not see and yet believed.” This one statement alone validates my cause. Abraham was blessed, happy, spiritually secure, and favored by God because He believed in God of the Impossible. He did not see Him but based his whole life and future on God’s Power, Wisdom and Goodness. This would be counted to him as righteousness and he would go on to be acknowledged as a friend of God.
The statement of our Lord pointed back but it also pointed to future generations who would decide to have now faith in an ever present God and cry out to Jesus with faith and confidence in His Word alone. That’s really all we have to go on…is it enough. It was for Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets, “who by faith [that is, with an enduring trust in God and His promises] subdued kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promised blessings, closed the mouths of lions, extinguished the power of [raging] fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became mighty and unbeatable in battle, putting enemy forces to flight.” Women received back their dead by resurrection. It goes on to detail their persecution and oppression for now faith that challenged the world and won. The same power of faith and hope that dictated their attitudes and actions is promised to us. Where is it? What happened to the miracles, signs and wonders? Friend, they are not gone but hidden in us waiting to be released by those who decide to have now faith that is fully assured that they hold the title deed with absolute confirmation that the things hoped for are divinely guaranteed. It is faith that is fully convinced so that hope is confident in the evidence of things not see and convicted of the reality of such things motivated to action and ready to gain the divine approval available to them. It is with inherent trust and enduring confidence in the Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God based solely on His Word and confirmed only by His Spirit will make these promises a reality now and forever.
Now faith is motivated by Hebrews 11 and the faithful Hall of Fame spoken of. Each one offers insight and encouragement. Through imperfect lives, they discovered a Perfect God whose unconditional love caused them to take Him at His Word. These people together massage my heart until it is in rhythm with our unseen Savior and invisible Lord. We are blessed when we have faith that cannot be seen in a hope intangible. It will require going deeper than ever before. Denying our flesh the opportunity to oppress our faith any longer, but trusting our whole life to Jesus – body, mind and spirit. I want now faith. Do you?
Romans 4:19-25 (AMP)
Without becoming weak in faith he considered his own body, now as good as dead [for producing children] since he was about a hundred years old, and [he considered] the deadness of Sarah’s womb. But he did not doubt or waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and empowered by faith, giving glory to God, being fully convinced that God had the power to do what He had promised. Therefore his faith was credited to him as righteousness (right standing with God). Now not for his sake alone was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also—to whom righteousness will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead—who was betrayed and crucified because of our sins, and was raised [from the dead] because of our justification [our acquittal—absolving us of all sin before God].