As followers of Christ we’ve been called to a life of faith. When the biblical writers spoke of faith they weren’t talking about positive thinking. Nor did they regard faith as some sort of hunch that’s followed. It’s not a feeling of optimism that things will work out for the best.
Faith is being sure of things you hope for without having seen them. It’s being certain that unseen things are real. By faith we believe God created the visible world with his invisible power and energy. We accept as present a spiritual realm which we can’t view with our eyes.
Faith isn’t something we only exercise in the spiritual realm. By faith we accept the presence of electricity even though we can’t see it, every time we flip a switch and turn on a light. We accept by faith that someone loves us, even though we can’t see love with our eyes.
While faith is placed in an unseen object, that doesn’t mean it’s a “blind leap.” Our faith is strongest when it’s placed in something or someone who has been proven trustworthy. Ultimately, the only way we can please God is by faith. Religious activity apart from faith doesn’t please God. Neither do good works. God only asks from us that which he intends to produce through us. And every work God does in and through us is activated by our faith in him.
The men and women whose names are found recorded in Hebrews 11 won God’s approval because of their faith. They saw him perform mighty deeds on their behalf. Not because they were better than their peers. God acted on their behalf because they trusted him to do so.
Take some time this week and read Hebrews 11. As you read this great chapter, notice that through the first half of verse 35 those who trusted God saw him perform amazing acts of deliverance. He provided for them in astounding ways. It would be easy to conclude that faith in God always brings the miraculous. It always assures deliverance out of difficulty.
But verses 35b-38 indicate otherwise. These people trusted God and suffered unimaginable hardship. They endured excruciating pain and endured unparalleled losses. Yet their faith never wavered. They discovered that when God doesn’t deliver us out of a difficulty–he gets us through it. For some of them “through it” meant entering God’s presence through death.
The truth is you already have faith. You exercise it every day when you trust a friend to keep a secret, a pharmacist to fill a prescription or a driver to stay in his lane of traffic. Since you already have faith, be sure you put it in the one place where you’ll never be disappointed. Put it in God. Take a risk. Get out of your safety zone and trust God for something new. Something big.
Ultimately, the only way you can please God and experience his presence and power is through faith. In a very real sense, faith activates the infinite power of God on your behalf.