Can you describe what a person of faith acts like?
John Ortberg states: "The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus, you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life. And that’s sobering news to most of us, because we’re into comfort...but water walkers master failure... Did Peter fail?...Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes...Did Peter fail? Well, I suppose in a way he did. His faith wasn’t strong enough. His doubts were stronger. 'He saw the wind.' He took his eyes off of where they should have been. He sank. He failed. But here is what I think. I think there were eleven bigger failures sitting in the boat. They failed quietly. They failed privately. Their failure went unnoticed, unobserved, uncriticized. Only Peter knew the shame of the public failure. But only Peter knew two other things as well. Only Peter knew other things as well. Only Peter knew the glory of walking on water. He alone knew what it was to attempt to do what he was not capable of doing on his own, then feeling euphoria of being empowered by God to actually do it. Once you walk on water, you never forget it--not for the rest of your life!" (Ortberg, If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, page 21-23).
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.”
Abel had a genuine heart! It lead him to not only be obedient to God but caused him to simply worship God for who He is. It was pleasing to God. Abel produced a better sacrifice than Cain because he had a righteous heart and he put forth all that he was in his offering to God. He didn’t simply do offer God “a half-hearted” offering like Cain. Abel’s offering spoke about his character. Abel’s faith in God caused him to simply worship the Father. It was genuine worship.
Paul explains to Hebrews that, “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”
Faith is essential to please God. How do we do that? Well having faith in God means to choose to walk in righteousness and obedience towards God and His will. It means to respond and to act on His Word. It means to simply trust in His guidance. It means that completely believe that God will do what He says He will do. Is your walk pleasing to God? Are you more concerned with pleasing others or God?
The things that God spoke to Noah had not occurred. But here is the thing: Noah trusted what God an acted in his faith. Noah’s faith showed the light on the disobedience and sinfulness that surrounded him. Noah was righteous in God’s eyes.
Do you have faith that leads you to work hard for the Kingdom of God? We are too comfortable! We sometimes want someone else to do the work. We rather spend time doing what we want rather than what God wants. Which makes sense for the unbelievers but not for Christians. There is too much evil in this world; too many lost for us to be comfortable.
Noah’s faith called him to work even when the situation didn’t make any sense. How do you respond to God’s calling when the circumstance doesn’t make sense? Your faith requires action!
James 2:17-18 – “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
Warren Wiersbe says, "Faith enables us to understand what God does. Faith enables us to see what others cannot see. As a result, faith enables us to do what others cannot do."
9By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:9-10
How is your prayer life? How long do you bathe a particular circumstance in prayer?
Is it easier for you to give up?
As Christians, as we walk in faith…our faith knows hope (Jesus). Our faith expects to receive from God what He has promised us in His Holy Word. It tells us that there is no place for fear or worries. It encourages us surrender and put our burdens in God’s hands. Faith reminds us that God is not in a box and can do anything! Faith continually repeats to us how real God is! Faith helps us wait…and wait! Faith moves into action! Faith convicts us to preach the Gospel to the lost!