Recently I was learning about Faith and in the beginning faith was this hard concept for me to grasp but in my attempts to make it clearer I found myself firmly planted in Hebrews 11, the “Faith in Action” chapter. This chapter highlights all the different men and women from the bible who did miracles are grouped together in this chapter to show the power that is found in Faith. That’s what I noticed at first and I began to understand that if I have faith then like these people, with faith I can do the impossible.
So my next question was how do I obtain that kind of faith? The first thing I learned was that I had to stop treating faith as though it is synonymous with hope. Faith is to hope what doing is to trying. When asked to do something challenging and we say that we’ll try, we are saying that we have the desire and we believe in the possibility of both failing or succeeding. But when we say that we’ll do it we don’t disregard that we can fail but rather we put our confidence in our ability to succeed. Confidence is the key word here. In the very beginning of Hebrews 11 faith is described as “confidence in what we hope for” but we tend to focus only on the word hope. Think of those times where you said “I hope,” just because you hoped someone would get better doesn’t mean you believed they would so if they didn’t get better you weren’t surprised. In the same way when you hope to get a good grade on a paper you’re still aware that it might not happen but the bible says that faith is being confident in what you hope for. So that in faith you start believing that your hopes will happen not allowing doubt to creep in, becoming assured “in what you do not see” as though you have already seen it.
With this new understanding of faith as confidence I began to see our bible celebrities in a different way. I finally understood that in order for all of them to do the things they did they couldn’t just say “I hope this works,” they had to say “this is going to work”. Think of Harry Potter for a moment, Ron had the “I hope this works” mentality and a lot of the time his magic failed. On the other hand Hermione was confident even when she was doing things for the first time and she’d always nail it. The point is that I don’t want you to think that the only way you can be confident in something is if you’ve done it before. In truth, Moses didn’t grow up splitting seas and drowning armies. Most of the time these people had never seen or done anything extraordinary before but they were asked to do these things by the one who can do the impossible. Because it was God, the impossible became the possible in their minds. What this requires is a confidence in God.
Ask yourself this- do you believe that God can do anything? Do you believe that he loves you? And that he wants what’s best for you? If you answered yes, then be confident in that. Don’t focus on the circumstances but have faith in God and that faith will empower you to say God loves me so I know this circumstance will not crush me. Hold onto what you know about God because if he can do the impossible and he asks you to do it then he’ll also give you the power to do it. This is why Peter was able to walk on water because Jesus asked, and like him you will sink if you divert your attention to the problems. When you don’t focus on the problems you become like Abraham who had faith in getting a child, got a child, and then was willing to follow God as he said to sacrifice his son. This was faith because he didn’t allow the sacrifice it was to deter him from trusting in God, instead he reasoned that the God who could give him a son in old age “could even raise the dead.” This was my final understanding of what Faith means- believing what God has spoken over you as though it has already happened, so that if anything comes against what he has said, you still know it’s going to happen it’s merely a matter of how.
So to finish I want to give you all a challenge. When you face your own problems I want you to ask yourselves, am I going to be like Peter and look at the waves, having hope but not confidence, and therefore allowing myself to sink. Or will I be like Abraham and keep focusing on God, being so confident in what he has said that when the complete opposite is happening I say, “God is going to do it, it’s just a matter of how.”