Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Gift of Faith

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Gift of Faith Submitted by Kay Crumley

Faith is something we can have in people or things.  It is trust in that thing or person.  Faith is defined as a noun, person, place, or thing.  Faith is complete trust of confidence in someone or something.  That means we believe an object will perform as it is meant to by the manufacturer.  An example is that you have faith that your car will operate safely and efficiently to get you to your destination.  Faith in a person is trusting that they will do what they promised. When your friend commits to meet you for coffee at a specific place and time you have faith they will be there.  Those are common demonstrations of faith we have on a daily basis.  But what does the Bible say about faith?  I will begin by looking at God’s faithfulness to us.  God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He never changes, Malachi 3:6.  He is steadfast and loyal.  

 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

Psalm 86 is a prayer by David to God to save him from his enemies.  He stated in the previous verse that his enemies had no regard for him, yet he knew that was not true of God his Father. David trusted God’s compassion for him would never end.   

 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful   God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. Deuteronomy 7:9

He keeps His covenant, contract agreement, of love to His followers. The Bible refers to a generation as 40 years. If you wonder if ‘1000 generations’ is enough, that’s about 40,000 years.  I believe He has us covered.  Remember, Jesus came about 2000 years ago to set a new covenant, extend the contract.   

We can trust in God’s faithfulness according to His Word.  What about our faithfulness to Him?  What does that mean and how do we apply it to our lives? 

 We have examined God’s faithfulness to us but how do we demonstrate our faith?  We demonstrate our faith by believing in Him.  We have confidence in His Word, it is true, in His character, it is unchanging, and we live in that faith. 

 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

We have faith in the promises of God that we can’t see. We hold to His promise to love, to protect, to guide our ways, and that Jesus will return. However, we don’t know how any of that will play out in our day to day lives.    

Once we know who God is and trust He is able to provide salvation we must commit to Him.  However, that’s not all on us. The Holy Spirit enters our heart and makes us a new creation.  We are changed, no longer desiring the sinful life we had but have a new life with new purpose. 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 

God does the work; we just have to believe. He saves us by His grace. We can’t be good enough, work hard enough, or do anything to earn our salvation. It is a gift we accept because of His mercy and grace.   

Now we have expressed our faith in Him and He has made us new in Him. That’s all there is, right? WRONG, we are new creations with a new purpose, a new way of living. 

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:22-23 

We must grow near to God.  He has made us clean from our sinfulness and we can come close to Him.  As children we may have tried to hide from our parents when we disobeyed them. We may have hidden our behaviors by keeping is secret from them. However, as a believer we are forgiven of all our sin and God already knows all we have done, we cannot hide anything from Him, and He still loves us forever. Thus, when we are convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit, we must confess it to God in prayer knowing He forgives us. That is how we show Him we regret our sin and ask His help to avoid that temptation. We are to hold ‘unswervingly’, steadfast, faithful, to the hope we have in Him because He is faithful and never changing. 

God is faithful to us, abounding in love, faithful to 1000 generations.  He is the same forever, never changing in character, His promises never fail. That is reason for us to have hope and peace in every circumstance we ever face. He is compassionate, gracious, merciful, and loving. 

Then our response is to have faith in Him, to hope for the promises we cannot see. We are to turn all our worries, fears, and hurts to Him. Take it to Him in prayer trusting that He is in control now and forever.   

May this assurance bring you all the Joy, Peace, and Hope you are searching for as we celebrate this Christmas Season.  That is the Gift from God. 


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