A new perspective on Faith

A switch in perspectives on the definition and persuasion of faith.

Today as I read through the first half of Hebrews 11, I was struck by the fact that the motivating factor for each believer's step of faith wasn't necessarily the hope of what was promised, but rather the trust in the one who made the promise. Hebrews 11:1 starts with this definition of faith: "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." For much of my life I have been taught that this was the key introductory passage to the honor roll of the saints. But now I tend to differ.

As one who has been down the road of taking seemingly gigantic steps of faith, hoping, believing in, and seeing the end result is just not enough. There has to be something more. The experience of taking a leap of faith by attending a Christian college I could not afford, moving home to start a new ministry, and letting down my guard to be in a relationship with my boyfriend, did not come because of my hope or desire for the end result and I am pretty sure that isn't what motivated the saints of old either. Look at verse 13, "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things they promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance."

Why do great artists continue to paint or compose when their work has not yet been recognized? Why do Christians in other countries who will be martyred for their faith continue to fight for the prize? What motivates a person to give up absolutely everything for a greater good? Perhaps it is the end vision, but in matters of pure faith, I think it is because of the one who gave the vision.

Hebrews 11:6 reads "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

Noah was able to build the ark because he believed in the one who commanded him to build it. Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac because he trusted the one who had made the promise. Moses chose to be mistreated and went to extreme lengths to be part of God's plan to free the Israelites, because he knew the one who brought freedom actually existed.

Faith, begins with recognizing that God exists. Faith is being sure of our hope that there is a God. Faith is being certain of the existance of an invisible God. Faith is knowing that the stories we read about God are true. So, to have faith the size of a mustard seed requires us to believe that God is God!


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