PJ’s Daily Devotional for Monday, April 3, 2017.
Is faith a propositional truth or a personal testimony?
Here is a strong and convincing biblical definition of faith from Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
For most people, that is not enough to convince them to go live by faith. Faith is not an isolated movement of the intellect; it is a whole person commitment (head, heart, tongue, hands, and feet) that must be caught more than it is taught. That is why the Bible is full of stories of real people with real faith in real history.
Hebrews 11 is full of testimonies about what faith is and how real people with real faith in real history walked in faith. Here is just the beginning of the chapter:
- The story of Abel’s sacrifice to God that caused his brother Cain to murder him, yet his legacy lives on for eternity (verse 4).
- The story of Enoch’s faithfulness, and as a reward he was taken up to Heaven without tasting of death (verse 5).
- The story of Noah who trusts God and builds an ark to save humanity in the face of an imminent worldwide flood (verse 7).
- The story of Abraham who trusts God and sets out on the journey of a life time to the promised land (verses 8-10).
- The story of Sarah who trusts God and at 90 experiences her barrenness being transformed into abundance (verses 11-12).
I would encourage you to take some time and read some of these great stories of faith. What the author of Hebrews references in Hebrews 11 are real stories about real people with real faith in real history. The stories, nor the people in them, are not intended to be moralized or spiritualized, as much as they are meant to be empathized with and understood as three-dimensional people.
Turn in your Bible to book of Genesis to read more; allow these stories to capture your imagination on what it means to live by faith. May these stories inspire you, encourage you, edify you, and equip you to follow their example of faith.
Let’s add an illustration to connect faith with an everyday life experience: Are you sitting? How did you know that you could put your full weight into that chair? Before you sat down, did you first have the hope of being able to rest in the chair without fear of injury or discomfort? When you sat down and the chair did what you anticipated, your hope was fulfilled and your faith was proven accurate. Faith is when you trust you can put your full weight into something and then you do it!
There is no faith apart from the exercising of your faith. As the Bible says, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26).
I conclude with this exhortation from today’s Bible Reading, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Take some practical steps today to put your full trust in God.