In 2 Peter 1:5-7 we are given a list of characteristics Christians should grow in to be fruitful. This post will start a series focused on these.
What Faith Is
The first trait in this list is faith. Nothing can start without a knowledge and acceptance of the basics of who God is and that Jesus is His Son. Hebrews 11:1 explains, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Verse three of the same chapter says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”
The idea of faith is further explained in Hebrews 11:6: “But 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 diligently seek Him.” If God isn’t the eternal Being who created the world and is capable of eternally preserving our souls, then there is absolutely no point to being a Christian. It would be futile to try to live a godly life if these things weren’t true. The foundation of Christian living is faith. Everything else must build from it.
What it Does
Faith is the fuel to the engine of our lives. It keeps us going and doing what God would have us to do. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is a record of people who were pleasing to God. There is a predictable format to these entries, and they begin with “by faith.” Abel offered a good sacrifice, Noah built the ark, Abraham left the home he knew to go to a place God would tell him, and he was willing to offer his son. All of this was because they had faith.
When you are tired, and tired of being tired, you have to dig deep to keep going. Faith is what we dip into in those moments. What gives you the courage to say you don’t want to see the new popular movie that isn’t fitting for a follower of God to see. What emboldens you to speak out when our leaders are making sinful decisions about directing our country. What keeps your heart in the quiet moments when it is just you and God.
How We Get It
Faith isn’t a passive, abstract idea. We can grow in it, but it takes effort. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” This is how we can increase our faith. Spending time with God’s Word and learning about Him will help us to grow in the amount and quality of our faith.
When the stormy times come in life, and they will come, faith is what will pull us through. If you are going through a valley now, don’t take your eyes from your faith. The time to be preparing our faith for this is while things are good. Pay attention through the everyday happenings and see God working in your life. Sometimes He works out what we want. Other times He saves us from something we want for something even better. Relish the moments you can look up and tell God you saw what He did, and that it was amazing.
Never underestimate our God. He is powerful enough to let us doubt and perfect enough to know that if we really look, we will come back to Him. There’s nowhere else to go.
May the Lord bless and keep you,