Faith is the most complex word in the English language, which is to say that it means something different to everyone. For this blog I use it to represent ones Faith in Christ/having a relationship with Him. People embrace this kind of faith, hate it, love it, wrestle with it, mock it, need it, can't have it, have lost it, have found it, have wanted it, have found little need for it, who haven't given it a shot for fear of being let down. And if you're anything like me, you've experienced all of the above associations with faith.
It's been misunderstood, discovered, searched for and fought over, but due to its strength its stuck around. Its made some feel like fools and restored hope for others. Mostly it's a journey where for-mentioned is experienced at one point or another. It means something different for everybody. Let's take a look at what the Word has to say about Faith.
Jehosaphat was the king of Judah many years ago in a time far far away. I like Jehosaphat and here's why: he is relatable. In chapter 19 of 2 Chronicles It talks about how a seer (prophet) comes to Jehosaphat and expresses the Lords displeasure with him as he "helps the wicked and loves those who hate God." The seer continues, "There is however some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God."
Don't ask me what Asherah poles are: idols? a group of people for which the term in modern times is A**holes?" I don't know, but in 2 Chronicles 20:20 Jehosaphat says the following: "Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld," I don't know if Jehosaphat ever listened to the prophet or not but my guess is that he did because he adds this after instructing others to have faith in God, "have faith in his prophets and you will be successful."
It seems as though he heeded the word of the "seer" and became successful as a result. LESSON LEARNED: I will be upheld in my struggles if I keep my faith in God not my circumstances. If I listen to prophets (whether modern or ancient) I will be successful. I also see it uses the sound word of "will" not "might." It says we WILL be upheld and successful.
Hopping on over to the New Testament: In Romans 10:17, Paul says, "Consequently faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
Paul says that faith comes from hearing the message of Jesus and that message can only be heard through the word of Christ. My question is whether the "word of Christ" means the Bible or literally the words of Christ. In my opinion they're one in the same so I guess my question is a technicality.
Paul was a persecutor of Christians before God intervened so drastically Paul became one of the strongest Christ-followers ever. I believe him when he says that faith (see first sentence of my blog for the reminder of how I'm using the word Faith) can only be found in hearing the message of Christ through the word of Christ. LESSON LEARNED: Don't bother looking anywhere else but the Lord for your faith. No one else and nothing else (money, drugs, cars, homes etc.) can provide faith or security.
One of my favorites on faith, and one I need to be reminded of constantly also comes from Romans: "Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters."(14:1)
Oh how I wish Paul could have dumbed it down for us further into what those disputable matters are. I can't tell you how many arguments or debates I've been apart of that has only put up a wedge between me and the person rather than build our faith. LESSON LEARNED: keep my mouth shut about others' walk with God and don't judge them on disputable matters.
For further verses on faith that have stood out to me look up the following for personal reflection and opportunity for the Holy Spirit to speak to you on this wonderful word. Matthew 17:20, Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:7, *Ephesians 5:16*, Hebrews 12:2-3, James 2:26.
And here I end with two beautiful verses I always need reminding of on Faith:
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."
1 John 5:3-5 "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."