What does it mean to ‘have faith’? And how does that look in everyday life?
This has been God’s challenge to me in the past few weeks, as I debated over a big decision regarding my job. I’ve been pretty faithless during this entire process (I’d rather eat a cactus than search for another job), and even though I knew my mindset wasn’t ideal, I didn’t think it was a major issue.
Then a friend asked me to speak at church, and gave me a topic: How did Jesus do life?
During my study of the Book of Luke, I noticed that when Jesus commended people, it was usually about their faith. In fact, faith seemed to get him pretty excited. And then I remembered a verse from Hebrews 11:
“Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb 11:6 NIV)
Ouch. This was a bigger problem than I’d given it credit for. When the Israelites were faithless and didn’t believe God would deliver the Promised Land to them, they lost the privilege of entering it. Instead they wandered the desert for the rest of their lives and it was their children who saw the fulfillment of God’s promise.
I don’t want that to be me. Hence this series on faith.
As I work on my attitude and get ready to give my talk at church, I’ve been studying the Bible’s most well-known chapter on faith: Hebrews 11.
The whole thing is a description of faith, and a bunch of examples of what faith looked like in the lives of people in the Old Testament. I’ve been making a list.
Here’s my two favorites for this week:
By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going… Abraham did it by keeping his eye on an unseen city with real, eternal foundations – the City designed and built by God. (Heb 11:8-10 MSG)
Faith looks like: Obeying even when you don’t know where you’re going.
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age–and Sarah herself was barren–was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. (Heb 11:11-12 NIV)
Faith looks like: Believing God’s promise, even when it looks impossible.
I like the first one because right now, as I start a new career, I feel like I have no idea where I’m going. Yeah, on the outside it looks like I do. This new job is full-time, more secure, better paying and holds greater opportunities than my two old part-time gigs.
But I didn’t expect to get it. I expected to work part-time jobs and focus my energy on becoming an author. I expected God to use me through my role as a mentor–something I’ve had to give up to take the job. While this new opportunity is awesome, it’s unexpected, and I don’t quite know where I’m going with it.
But Abraham was in the same position, and having faith panned out pretty well for him. He fulfilled God’s purposes for him, and came to know God in a deeper way. Can you imagine what a shame it would have been if he had’ve said, “No thanks God, I think I’ll stay where I am”?
And then the second part takes it to a whole new level. Abraham trusted God when He promised something–even something that seemed so far out of reach. I have trouble believing God when He promises me reasonable things. I think I would’ve struggled a little if God told me I’d have a baby when I’m in my 70s and my husband’s 100!!!
But again, look at what Abraham would’ve missed out on if he had no faith.
In my position right now, I feel a little like I’m walking through a thick fog, feeling my way around. I’m making progress, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen next.
But looking at this from Abraham’s perspective, the fog might not be an obstacle. It might be an opportunity. He didn’t need to see where he was going; he needed faith.
So do I.
Enjoy this article? Hit the ‘follow by email’ button on the right sidebar and you’ll get every post delivered straight to your inbox.
If occasional updates are more convenient, sign up for my newsletter! You’ll get an exclusive sneak peak at my novel-in-progress, Hating Jeremy Walters.