This is the second part of a series exploring faith. Read the first part of this series.
As we continue to look at this issue of faith and what the Bible says about it, we must look at how our heroes applied faith to their lives and crises and how it affected their responses.
The definition of faith is clear in Hebrews. It’s the “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).” And these heroes trusted in the words and the promises of God even though they could not touch, see, or feel Him.
Another definition of great faith is the substance of things hoped for. Remember, hope in the Bible is not saying "I hope so," or "Maybe.” No, it is reality and truth that cannot be seen. When it becomes real, it is no longer just something hoped for.
So let’s look today at one man who the Bible teaches was a person of great faith: Abraham.
Romans 4 gives us great insight into Abraham’s life and how faith works when the reality of what God has said seems ridiculous.
"Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead." -Romans 4:18-19
The picture is clear. God has given a promise that Abraham and Sarah would have a child, and that through that child, the whole world would be blessed. A 100-year-old man and a 90-year-old woman weren’t having children in those days, just like today. There was no hope from the natural perspective that there would ever be a child. The only hope Sarah and Abraham had was God Almighty, who could not be seen.
Hopeless circumstances and hopeless obstacles, yet Abraham believed God’s promises when he was mocked by others, never wavering in his faith. He even grew in his faith because he gave glory to God even though the promise he was given seemed unbelievable to him and to everyone around him.
How can we have this same kind of great faith? How can I trust my Savior and His presence and love for me when everything I seem to touch goes down the drain or falls apart? My Lord has told me that I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ in all my circumstances.
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." -Romans 8:35-37
Even though life is trying to discourage me, and Satan is shouting at me, “How can God love you?” I must have the type of faith that Abraham had. Yes, there is pain, sorrow, confusion, but my heart says, “I trust You, Father. It’s OK, and no matter what it takes to become the person You desire, have Your way with me.”
So whatever hopeless situation you may find yourself in today, may you and I both learn that our hope is that God has promised us His presence and power to give Him the glory.
Why? Because our Lord has told us that our “light and momentary troubles” are accomplishing an eternal glory greater than we could ever imagine (2 Corinthians 4:17). And we can cling to that promise because God is all-knowing.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.