“Faith is acting like God is telling the truth.” Dr. Tony Evans
God tells us the truth through His word, the Bible, to us. He asks us to listen, understand and obey. He asks us to love Him by loving others, and to have faith in Him; He gives us the strength to do hard, difficult things we are reluctant to do on our own.
Love requires us to do things we don’t want to do; that don’t seem to benefit us in anyway. We think we won’t get anything in return. Love requires us to love “hard to love people” because Jesus commands us to do it. Faith is like that… when it is a verb in our lives, it compels us to do hard, impossible, crazy things that we often don’t want to do or we try to talk ourselves out of doing.
James 2:19, 20… “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless?”
???Useless… not serving any purpose; no practical good. I don’t want my faith in God to be useless!
Hebrews 11:6… “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.”
We are supposed to please God? Yes, by living a life of faith, compelled by the grace of God through His strength.
Ephesians 2:8… “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”
Grace is the path that leads us to a living faith which transforms us (sanctifies us) and causes us to do good works for Jesus.
Hebrews 11:1, 2 (The Voice Bible)… “Faith is the assurance of things you have hoped for, the absolute conviction that there are realities you’ve never seen. It was by faith that our forebears were approved.”
To exercise faith is to have confidence about an expectation we have without visible proof that it will happen.
Romans 1:16, 17 (NIV)… “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
2 Corinthians 5:6-9 (CSB)… “So we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. In fact, we are confident, and we would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. Therefore, whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to be pleasing to him.”
Living in faith gives us confidence not arrogance; it gives us assurance not smugness. Since we are away from the Lord’s presence and here on earth, our confidence comes from “walking by faith and not by sight”! Walking by faith pleases the Lord.
James 2:17 (NLT)… So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
Our faith must produce good deeds. If it does not, it is “dead and useless”. You might have a negative reaction to that statement from James 2, but it is possible that our faith becomes useless. When our Christian faith and beliefs do not accomplish anything. Is it possible to have dead faith? Yes! When we don’t take action on what we believe! Our beliefs are demonstrated by what we do; our actions point back to our faith! The opposite of faith is not doubt… it’s disobedience!
This is the truth… YOU AND I ACT ON WHAT WE BELIEVE! If you want to take a self assessment of what you believe, take a look at where you spend your money and how do you spend your time. When you act on what you believe as one who believes God is trustworthy, but you can’t guarantee the outcome, you are living by faith. When you act on what you believe as follower of Jesus but can’t immediately see the “fruit of your labor”, you are living in faith. When you act on what you believe as a Christian, but you don’t control the agenda, you are living in faith.
Living in faith by God’s grace takes are everyday actions and good works and redeems them to the the work of the Lord. The question that each of us should ask ourselves is, “does anyone know I have faith in God? What is the evidence in my life?
By grace through faith, we are rescued from sin by Jesus. By faith through our actions, the love of Jesus is revealed to others.