“Because I’ve got to have faith
I’ve got to have faith
Because I’ve got to have faith
I’ve got to have faith
George Michael, “Faith”
I’m fairly certain that George wasn’t singing about faith in the One true God back in 1987. Decades later, I still hear the word “faith” thrown around rather carelessly…as if its something that all of us can just conjure up any time we want.
Faith- what exactly is it? How does it work? Is it the same thing as believing in God?
Over the past dozen years or so, God has given me multiple opportunities to build, as my husband says, “my faith muscle.” But it’s only been in recent years that I’ve really understood what it means to have faith in God.
Faith comes from Our Creator (as does everything else we are given). Without it, Hebrews 11:6 says “it is impossible to please God.” However, the later part of that verse tells us what we must do FIRST: “believe that God exists.” To believe, according to the dictionary, is to “accept something or someone as true.” When the Holy Spirit breathes on us- we believe in Jesus & confess our sins, in order that we may be saved. It is during this same exchange that our faith is activated- but what we do, or don’t do with it makes all the difference in our lives. Conversely, faith is defined as “complete confidence in someone or something.” You see, we can BELIEVE God exists- & even be saved from spending eternity in hell….but yet never completely have confidence in, or trust Him. There are multiple reasons why that occurs; growing up with parents who, unfortunately didn’t model godly parenting or being hurt/traumatized by people in authority over us….the ways of deception from the enemy are numerous.
What then are we to do?
In order to live a life of faith in God, we must connect to God. And He is so generous that He gives us the “how to” before He gives us what He requires us “to do!”
Hebrews 11, otherwise known as the “Hall of Faith” chapter, gives example after example of ordinary people who did extraordinary things, through their faith in God.
It was by faith:
Noah built a boat
Abraham left his home
Sarah had a child
Moses’ parents hid him
The Israelites marched through the Red Sea
Rahab (the prostitute) was not destroyed
All these people had one very important factor in common: they heard from God. In order to have faith, we must hear from God, believe what He promises & obey what He commands.
Simple. Yet complicated.
Whenever Doug & I are given the opportunity to share our testimony, we usually tell about God’s promise that He spoke to both of us at the lowest part of our marriage. At a moment when Doug was afraid that he had lost it all…his wife, children, job….God promised that He would take his horrible situation (brought upon by his own sin) & use it for good….and that together, Doug & I would help other couples hear from God, by sharing our story. At the same time, as I was contemplating leaving my husband and facing life alone as a single mom, God used my mother to speak the same promise to me; “Jodie, I know you can’t see it now…but God is going to use this for good….”
We had heard from God. He had given us a promise. Simple. Then came the complicated part; obeying Him.
It started with me returning home to my husband (after God had told me divorce was not an option). Then…
-LOTS and LOTS of repentance and forgiveness towards God & each other
-being accountable to others by getting involved in a local church
-being willing to share our private, sometimes embarrassing & shameful story over and over again with other couples
-hosting couples/families that stayed in our home
-leading small groups
-mentoring couples who were in the midst of painful circumstances
-planning, paying for and hosting a marriage conference
-starting a non-profit ministry
All of these steps of obedience built our faith muscle. And after each step, we continued to see how God was answering and confirming His promise!
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen…” (Hebrews 11:1)
If we want to live extraordinary lives, we’ve gotta have faith. Not in ourselves, or what we hope for-but in God and what HE hopes for, for us. For “he rewards those who sincerely seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)