Our Precious Faith (Part 1) By: Ben Fronczek
Can you just imagine what life would be like without having any faith whatsoever?
- You’d never believe anything was going to work out to your benefit,
- You would probably never try anything new because you’d fear the consequences. Life would probably be dull and without any excitement.
- Where there is no faith there is not courage to try anything new.
- You would have trust issues. You wouldn’t know who you could trust or believe about anything. And because of this, you would probably always want to be in control because you would never have faith that anyone could do something as good as you.
- You would also not believe in anything you could not see for yourself, and even then you’d probably have doubts. Without faith you could not believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, in Heaven, or anything in the spiritual realm. As a matter of fact, there would not be too many historical or scientific facts that you could accept without faith.
- Without faith you could not expect or hope for anything. Faith and hope go hand in hand.
- One writer I came across even said that, “Life without faith is impossible,” and he is probably right.
Whether you realize it or not the ability to have faith in someone or something is one of the greatest gifts that God has given each and every one of us.
But even though each and every one of us are born with, and are capable of having and expressing faith, for whatever reason some choose not to take full advantage of what God has given them. Actually none of us do 100%.
Faith is so important to God the one who wrote Hebrew wrote in 11:6 that “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe(or have faith) that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
So what is faith? In Hebrews 11:1 it says that, “faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” The NLT says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.”
For us as Christians, our faith moves us to trust in what God says in His word even though you may not have any physical proof or evidence it is so.
Faith is what actually connects us all to our all powerful omnipotent God. Without faith everything about God would just be a story or fairytale to us.
When we short circuit our faith in God and what He promises, it brings about some unfortunate and tragic consequences including feeling powerless, afraid, hopeless, sad, and condemns our soul to hell.
A.W. Tozer wrote, “True faith is never found alone; it is always accompanied by expectation. The man who believes the promises of God expects to see them fulfilled. Where there is no expectation, there is no faith.”
God’s will for us is to live by faith all the time.
So what are some blessings that come when we live by faith. Pretty much the opposite of what I mentioned at the onset of this lesson.
Living by faith takes the pressure off us so we can enjoy life.
- Faith helps one believe things are going to work out for our benefit..
- It enables us to try and do new things because faith drive out fear.
- We are more courageous.
- It enables us to trust and believe in others. We don’t feel like we have to control everything because we can trust others to do things for us.
- Because faith and hope go hand in hand we become more positive and hopeful of those things that have not yet happened and that keeps our life exciting, full of expectation, positive, and joy filled.
- Where ‘Life without faith is impossible,’ with faith almost everything is possible. Do you remember what Paul wrote, he said “I can do all things through Christ who give me strength.”
That’s a statement of faith.
- And the greatest blessing of all is the fact that faith enables us to believe and trust in God, in Jesus, in the Spirit, in angels, in heaven itself.
- Faith even open our eyes up to the work of the devil and demons.
- And finally, the apostle Paul lets us know that one of the greatest defenses against any attack or temptation from the Satan or his forces, is faith. In Eph 6, after he tells us to put on the full armor of God, he instructs Christians to “take up the shield of faith, (WHY, because with it) you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Your Faith is a shield. Your faith is what can protect you from all the evil, the temptations, and all the garbage that the devil, and his demon, and what this world wants to throw at you.
Paul said that your shield of faith can literally “extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one.” What a powerful defensive weapon God has given us! Our Faith is what protects us.
Developing faith and using it will even shield you from many negative and tormenting emotions, like fear, worry, lust, doubt, guilt, and more.
When a flaming dart or temptation comes your way, the best way to overcome or prevent those feeling of fear or worry, or doubt is to pull out your faith and resist those things right away when they first come your way and try to enter your mind.
In Romans 1:17, Paul wrote that the righteous will live by faith. When something evil, negative, or unholy comes our way we need to make a habit of letting our faith rise, lifting our shield of faith to protect our self rather that react with an emotional response.
Let me illustrate… Satan may try to wear you down and make you feel inferior, like you’ll never amount to anything, not accomplish anything…. But your faith should stand up and say, “Wait just a minute! GOD LOVES ME! He loved me so much that He was even willing to ends His son to die for me… so that I can live with Him in Glory forever. And I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!!!!”
Satan can shoot darts of temptation at us tempting us to lie, cheat, steal, lust, argue, or curse… But faith says, “Not hold on, I’m not longer a slave to sin. I don’t have to do it. As a matter of fact, God told me to be holy because He is holy!!!” Faith like that extinguishes those temptations.
Satan can send of discouragement our way; maybe the loss of a job, or a friend, or maybe we don’t get something we had hoped to get, or something does not go our way. But faith say, “I trust you God! You have told me that all things will work out for those that love you… and I love you!!!” Get the idea?
But just like there were different size shields some of our shields are smaller than others. The Roman infantry soldier during this time carried large rectangular shield that could cover them from their shoulders to their knees. They were made of wood covered with leather which was soaked with water when flaming arrows were used against them. Likewise our faith should extinguish those evil darts that come our way. Another advantage of the Roman shield is that it could interlock with other soldiers shields giving them even more protection. The same thing happens when we lean on another faithful Christian for support. But the bigger the shield the more protection.
I would imagine that a babe in Christ does not have a shield quite as big as seasoned, mature Christian. Why, because we are also told that “Faith comes from hearing, by hearing the word of God.” Rom. 10:17
The more a Christian hears God’s word, reads God’s word, studies God’s word, practices God’s word, the more his faith has an opportunity to grow and the more protection and strength we will have. WHY? Because of what we know and understand we become stronger and our shield grows.
What a wonderful gift this thing which can grow in us, and strengthen us, and protect us, and comfort us, and enable us to see beyond this physical realm and so much more.
Over the next couple weeks I would like to bring you a couple of more lessons on this wonder blessing that God has given us which we call faith.
My Challenge for you today is:
I want you realize that you don’t have to buckle when tempted. You don’t have to let people get to you. You don’t have to let every little dart from the evil one hurt you. You can protect yourself by pulling out your shield of faith. It is your God given armor. Why is it so powerful? Because our faith is rooted in God, and in knowing that He loves us and will protect us.
In closing I would like to read you 2 passages of scripture showing more about the grand nature and blessing of our faith.
1 Peter 1:3-7 “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, (faith) 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” NLT
Your faith is more precious than all the gold in the world.. It saves you it protects you it fills you with hope for the future and so much more.
Hebrews 10:19-25 “9 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (We should be faithful because God is faithful) 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566