Introduction to Faith
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
Faith is taking what we need from the abundant provision of God in the spiritual realm and bringing it into the natural realm.
Our salvation is a good example. Jesus has already died for your sins and the sins of the world (Romans 5: 6-11). This is a spiritual truth. Nevertheless for salvation to become a reality in our life's we have to receive it by faith.
Salvation is believing God for something we cannot see nor touch, yet it is something He has already accomplished in the spiritual realm.
Hence faith is not hoping for something that does not exist (a bit like crossing your fingers), but rather trusting, believing and receiving from Him something He has already provided.
Now if faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see, it would help us to have a little understanding of hope.
" through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." Romans 5:2 (NIV) "
But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast." Hebrews 3:6 (NIV)
Our hope is in Christ. The word of God and the promise of God is what our hope is based on. In other words hope is something sure and concrete. It is opposite of what the world calls hope.
God's word says that you are healed (1 Peter 2:24). If you are believing God for healing you base your hope on God's promise of healing and then receive that healing by faith.
Reading Hebrews 6:18-19 helps explains hope in a clear way.
"This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and a strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us] [Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it - a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,[Lev. 16:2.]" Hebrews 6: 18-19 (Amplified bible)
Hope is what we can hold fast to. It is a trustworthy expectation of what God can do. It is an indwelling strength and strong encouragement we can hold unto.
For example, if you need a new job you should base your hope for a new job on what Christ has done. God has given us promises to bless us with all good things. Let these be your hope. As hope grows in you, faith will arise in your heart. It takes faith to receive from God. Many christians stop at hope and never receive from God.
Examples from Jesus
Lets see some examples of walking in faith from the life of Jesus. Read the following stories and ponder the statements and questions that follow.
Luke 8:40 - 53 The ruler had hope that his daughter would be healed by Jesus. This hope was based on Jesus. His hope moved him to act in faith and he came to Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood also acted on her faith. She overcame her physical weakness, pushed through the crowd and touched Jesus. Many people in the crowd were touching Jesus but only this woman got healed. She was reaching out in faith. It takes faith to receive from God.
This account is also found in Mark 5:25-29, Matthew 9:18 -20
Questions on Luke 8:43-48
1. Did the ruler who came to Jesus hope that his daughter would be healed?
2. Did he have faith in Jesus?
3. What is the difference between hope and faith?
4. How did the woman who got healed act on her faith?
5. How can we act on our faith?
6. Was Jesus lying when He said the girl was not dead but sleeping?