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06/24/2014 - DO NOT ABANDON YOUR FAITH

Faith, one of the least understood topics amongst people. Even preachers do not know what faith is. Once I was gathered with some pastors and I asked them to define faith for me. They simply silenced. As I insisted in my question, one of them ventured saying: “Faith is when one truly believes in something” – which is not true. Dictionaries cannot explain what faith is. For scholars, it is synonymous with creed, for example: Baptist faith, Catholic faith etc..

There are only two explanations for faith. They are written in Hebrews 11:1 which reads: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Now we have the meaning of faith. First, it is a certainty, a firm assurance that comes to our hearts when we hear the Word of God. Secondly, it is the evidence (the document) of what is not seen. He who has faith knows for a fact that what God has promised already belongs to him and, at the same time, this assurance enables him to confess that now he already has the blessing because it is the proof, the document of possession of the blessing.

You do not obtain faith by praying, nor is it transmitted from person to person. The Bible says it comes to our soul when we hear the Word of God: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).

The importance of faith – It is of utmost importance. Without it, no one can get any blessing. It’s like a path we open for the Lord God to work in our life: 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 (Hebrews 11:6).

Faith is your fate, your life. Never, under any circumstances, fall away from it. When someone preaches the Word, or you read the Bible, pay close attention because that’s when the Lord speaks to your heart. That which God shows you through the revelation of the Word – what makes you feel powerful, what gives you the certainty that the blessing is yours – are the things you need to take hold of and be successful. Without this assurance, there is no point going into battle thinking you will overcome and that, somehow, God will help you. But, if it comes to your heart, then you can declare your victory.

The example of Abraham – He was a very young man when the Lord called him to leave his country and go to another land that God would show: Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1-2). With confidence in the Lord, he departed with his young and beautiful wife and sojourned in Canaan as if it were a strange land. But he had a problem: his wife was barren. However, the Lord had said he would make him a great nation.

Years went by and God had not cured his wife. Once, in a certain kingdom, there was an incident: Abraham almost lost Sara. With the intervention of the Lord, she was returned to him and the king of that people told him that all women of his kingdom were sterile. Abraham pleaded with the Lord for that people and God then healed all women, but his wife remained barren. With the attitude of a true servant of God, he did not moan or complain, he continued believing in God.

Time passed and the promise was still not fulfilled. He was 86 years old and Sarah 76. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for them to be parents. Sara had a moment of weakness and asked Abraham to have a son with Hagar, his maidservant (a surrogate mother, in modern day words). Sara promised that she would accept Hagar’s son as if he were hers. Abraham gave in and then Ishmael was born, which gave him great pride. But the Lord told him that this was not the heir of the promise, but rather the one that he and Sara would beget.

Abraham was 99 years and Sara was 89. From a human standpoint, it was completely unfeasible that a son was born to them. The Lord visited Abraham again and said to him: When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless (Genesis 17:1). In other words, the Lord said: “I have no problems. If I have not fulfilled the promise yet it is because of you. I am the Almighty God – the One who can do everything. Mend your ways, walk before me and be blameless, and I will do the work.”

Abraham believed those words and was seized by an indescribable joy: Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” (Genesis 17:17). And the Lord God fulfilled the promise.

What allowed God to fulfill the promise? Abraham’s attitude! He embraced what the Lord had told him and did not allow the devil to annul the faith he had in his heart. “And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:19-21).

By examining Abraham’s attitude, we see there are some stances to be assumed from the moment one receives the faith up until the miracle occurs: 1st – He did not weaken in faith.

2nd – He did not consider his own body already dead, nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

3rd – He did not waver at the promise of God.

4th – His faith was strengthened and he gave glory to God.

5th – He was fully convinced that the Lord was able to perform what He had promised.

In other words, he did not abandon his faith; rather he was grounded and settled on it, thus allowing the Lord God to fulfill in his life what He had announced.

Your participation is important – Never leave the faith that comes to your heart when you hear the Word of God. It is like a ministry and will always be a challenge. It is a part of God in your life. With faith, you win. It is, in short, what God will do for you. On judgment day, you will be held accountable for the faith that the Lord has placed in your heart.

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