ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« A Place for You | Main | Well, Bless My Soul »

Fabulous Faith

For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20

Faith, faith, faith…just a little bit of faith.
You don’t need to have a lot…just use what you’ve got.
Faith, faith, faith…just a little bit of faith.

Faith can move mountains; Mountains of fear and of doubt; Faith can move mountains; So why don’t you try your faith out?

The old songs are right.

Faith is fabulous.

Turn faith upside down, inside out…you won’t find the word “impossibility” anywhere in it…And, when you link faith up with the name of Jesus, you have an overpowering combination.

“And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:16

Faith saves. Faith heals. Faith delivers. Faith is the trigger that sets providence into motion.

"We live by faith or we do not live at all," wrote Harold Walker.

"Either we venture--or we vegetate. If we venture, we do so by faith simply because we cannot know the end of anything at its beginning. By faith, we move mountains of opposition or we are stopped by molehills."

All of us have faith.

Unfortunately, we often have more faith in the devil than we do in God.

Max Lucado writes: “He was a PROFESSIONAL THIEF. His name stirred FEAR in the hearts of the people. He TERRORIZED the Wells Fargo Stage Line for 13 years. He spooked even the most RUGGED FRONTIERSMAN. During his reign of TERROR between 1875 and 1883, he is credited with STEALING the bags away from 29 different STAGECOACH CREWS. And he did it all without FIRING a shot. His WEAPON was His REPUTATION. His AMMUNITION was FEAR and INTIMIDATION. A HOOD hid his face. No VICTIM ever saw him. No artist ever SKETCHED his features. No SHERIFF could ever track his trail. BLACK BART was his NAME and FEAR was his GAME.

But the interesting thing about BLACK BART, when the HOOD finally came off, there was nothing to FEAR. After the authorities finally tracked him down, they didn’t find a BLOODTHIRSTY BANDIT—they found a mild-mannered DRUGGIST from Decatur, Illinois. The man the newspapers pictured storming through the mountains on HORSEBACK was, in reality, so AFRAID of horses he rode to and from his ROBBERIES in a BUGGY. His name was Charles E. Boles—the BANDIT who never once fired a SHOT, because he never once LOADED his gun.

Everyone has faith. A Houston Pastor named John Bisagno put it this way: "Faith is the heart of life. You go to a doctor whose name you can’t pronounce. He gives you a prescription you cannot read. You take it to a pharmacist you have never seen. He gives you medication you do not understand --- and yet, you take it."

Now, that is living by Faith!

I. The Bible Describes Faith for Us (Hebrews 11:1–3)

Heb 11:1-3 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

This is not a dictionary definition of faith, but what faith does and how it works.  True Bible faith is not blind optimism or a manufactured “hope-so” feeling. Faith is not an intellectual assent to a doctrine. Faith is not believing in spite of evidence! That would be superstition.

A.W. Tozer said: “Faith is seeing the invisible, but not the nonexistent.” Some people think faith is believing in something that is not actually there. Biblical faith believes God when He tells us there is a reality, which we cannot see. Faith means that we keep our eyes on God who controls circumstances --- not on the circumstances themselves.

Don’t get confused about faith. Knowing, believing, and having faith in something are all different things. How do we know that God is real? Good question. How do we know that Light is real? Scientifically, we may not know. We think we know because of what we believe. We believe things with our minds.

You see, beliefs are ideas. They paint a picture of reality that others may agree or disagree with. Beliefs are thoughts put into words and these words can be communicated to others.

Beliefs, however, are not absolute truths.

They are relative truths, not reality itself.  Having faith in something is different. We don’t put our faith in relative truths of man’s opinions but in absolute truths - truths that exist for all time. Faith connects us to a reality that’s bigger than us all, one that exists whether we believe in it or not. Beliefs are of the mind alone. Faith possesses both the mind and the heart. I am not talking tonight about what you believe. We could have lots of ho-hum discussions about what you and I believe. I am talking about what you want to see happen in your life! I am talking about fabulous faith!

I am talking about…
…the faith the leper had when he came to Jesus and said “If you will, you can…”
…the faith the Centurion had when he said to Jesus “Speak the word…”
…the faith the Ruler had when he said “Come and lay your hand on her…”
…the faith the blind man had when he cried, “Jesus, thou Son of David…”
…the faith the Syrophenician had when she said “Even the dogs eat the crumbs…”
…the faith the diseased woman had when she touched the hem of His garment.

Fabulous faith!

II. Faith begins in the mind.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Heb 11:6

There has to be a beginning point. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The beginning of your walk with God calls for faith. But, before faith comes alive in you, you must believe there is a God. How do you draw that conclusion?

1. You look at the sky, and you see order.
2. You look at nature, and you see design.
3. You know that all things stay still, unless they are put into motion. But, all things start from a standing position, so something had to act upon something to create the universe.
4. Order cannot come from disorder. Order is the evidence of a mind.
5. Therefore, there must be a creator, and the creator must be powerful.

The truth of God is inescapable. As Scripture says, only the fool says in his heart,

“There is no God.” And since there is a God, and since He created beings that think, reason, and make choices, then he must have a purpose for people. Faith builds on that purpose.

True Bible faith is triumphant obedience to God’s Word in the face of circumstances and consequences. Let that sentence soak into your mind and heart.

Fabulous faith!

This faith operates on a simple equation:

  • God speaks, we listen.
  • We trust His Written Word and act on it no matter what the circumstances are or what the consequences may be.
  • The circumstances may be impossible, frightening and unknown; but we obey God’s Word anyway and believe that he will do what is right and what is best.

Faith is that itchy, antsy, rambunctious force that starts in the inner sanctum of your brain, somewhere between the hippocampus and the posterior commissure. It commands attention, demands release and remands doubt to the sidelines. Slowly, it rises out of the darkness of your spirit. The ascent first promises to be easy. The initial thrust propels it out of the gravitational pull of fear and the status quo---it is on its way. I can fly! I can fly! Suddenly, faith smashes up against the ceiling of the real world. Counteracting forces come out of nowhere and beat it back.

This is where your faith energy has a head-on collision with your belief system. This is where you cry, “Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief.” 
This is where the enemies of your faith begin to talk back to you,. You can’t do this. This is way too hard for you. Go back where you came from. Who do you think you are, anyway? You’re foolish---no, no,---you’re stupid! The facts are against you. Circumstances are against you. Family and friends are against you. History is against you. Logic is against you.

But faith, God-given faith, pauses, regroups and begins anew.  “I will not be stopped, it breathes.” “The power within me is greater than the obstacles that assault me. “

Fabulous Faith!

III. Faith is Tested in the Real World

Luke 5:17

17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18 And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude…Let’s stop right here for a moment.

This is the critical juncture of faith versus mere belief. Your belief system is good. It takes you to Jesus. It knows Jesus Heals. But faith, fabulous faith, says, “That’s not good enough.” I don’t just want to be in the neighborhood where Jesus is.  I want to be in the very presence of Jesus!

Now, let’s go on…

They went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus…Skip to verse 24:

24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

Faith is the courage to put your beliefs into action.
Faith fills in the blanks in the quiz of life.
Faith is the missing link between God and man.
Faith performs like night vision goggles, like cloud-penetrating radar, like extra-sensory perception.
Faith believes what it cannot understand, ventures where it cannot see and convicts what it cannot prove.
Faith is a song without music, a painting without picture, a poem without words.
Faith walks when it cannot crawl, runs when it cannot walk, flies when it cannot run.
Faith is building on what you know is here so you can reach what you know is there.
When fear knocks at the door and faith answers, no one will be there.

"Faith draws the poison from every grief, takes the sting from every loss, and quenches the fire of every pain; and only faith can do it"--J.G. Holland.

Fabulous faith!

Faith is not some “feeling” that we manufacture. It is our total response to what God has revealed in His Word.

Three words in Hebrews 11:1–3 summarize what true Bible faith is: substance, evidence, and witness.

Substance” means literally “to stand under, to support.” Faith is to a believer is what a foundation is to a house: it gives his sound assurance that he will stand. So you might say, “Faith is the confidence of things hoped for.” Faith is God’s way of giving you confidence and assurance that what is promised will be experienced.

Evidence simply means “conviction.” This is the inward conviction from God that what He has promised, He will perform. The presence of God-given faith in one’s heart is conviction enough that He will keep His Word.

Witness is to obtain a good report. Hebrews 12:1 calls the list of heroes of faith in the eleventh chapter “so great a cloud of witnesses.” They are witnesses to us because God witnessed to them. In each example cited, God gave witness to that person’s faith. This witness was His divine approval on their lives and ministries.

So, faith is substance, evidence and witness. It is a very practical thing, in spite of what unbelievers say. Faith makes us understand what God does. Faith makes us to see what others cannot see. Faith does not panic, even when it appears that all is lost. As a result, faith makes us to do what others cannot do! 

Fabulous faith!

“Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.” J. Oswald Sanders

Only faith has a future. Faith is the accelerator, doubt is the brake pedal. Faith is confidence that everything will work out, doubt is the sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach that everything will fall apart. Faith is not guesswork. It is assurance based on God’s character.

IV. The Bible Acts Out Faith for Us (Hebrews 11:4–40)

This is called the Faith Chapter. It is the Hall of Fame for the Heroes of Faith. People laughed at these great men and women when they stepped out by faith, but God was with them and enabled them to succeed to His glory.

Faith empowered Abel. Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Abel knew that God required blood sacrifice so he offered a sheep rather than fruit and vegetables. Faith found for Abel the way of acceptance, and “by faith he was commended as a righteous man.” In fact, his obedience cost him his life.

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Enoch. Heb 11:5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

Twice Old Testament says that Enoch “walked with God” (Gen. 5:21–24). One verse says that he walked with God for 300 years. His relationship was consistent.

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Noah. Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

Noah lived in a time when all had turned their backs on God. He alone remained faithful. God warned him of a coming flood, and Noah devoted 120 years to building the ark miles from any sea. Through faith, Noah cut through the contrary views of his contemporaries and accepted the warning of impending disaster as fact.

And faith enables us to withstand peer pressure and obey God’s command to build!

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Abraham. Heb 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

How do you spell faith?

R-I-S-K! The life of faith is a life of risk, of stepping out into the unknown with nothing more solid before us than God’s command. Abraham risked an uncertain journey, not knowing where he was going, but only that God had called him.

Abraham obeyed when he did not know where he was going. He obeyed when he did not know how God’s will would be done. He obeyed when he did not know when God would fulfill His promises. He obeyed when he did not know why God was so working.

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Sarah. Heb 11:11-12 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

At 90 years old, you’re going to have a baby. When Sarah first heard the promise, she doubted and laughed (Gen. 18:12–15). But first doubts were overcome. Faith swept in to empower her dead womb to bear children.

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Abraham. Heb 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son on an altar. Abraham never lost a step, and never lost confidence in God. He was even ready to believe that God could raise his son up, even if he were dead, for God had promised that Isaac was the key to his descendants (v. 19).

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Moses. Heb 11:23-29 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment. 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. 28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.

Faith led Moses to throw in his lot with the slave people of Israel rather than his adoptive royal family (vv. 24–26). Faith enabled him to defy Pharaoh rather than give into him, remaining obedient to the heavenly King (vv. 26–27). Faith led Moses to command the people to keep the first Passover, and to walk boldly into the Red Sea (vv. 28–29).

Sometimes faith is defined by what it will not do. Look at the negatives of faith:

Choosing to suffer affliction
Esteeming reproach
Forsook Egypt

Fabulous faith!

Faith empowered Rahab. Heb 11:30-31 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

We can easily believe that faith took the godly Moses and made him even more a man of God. But Rahab was a prostitute! Did faith enable her? Yes. This inhabitant of Jericho, a city marked for destruction, believed God. She acted in faith to save the Jewish scouts, and instead of sharing the fate of the disobedient, she became a member of the people of God.

Fabulous faith!

Heb 11:32-38 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Fabulous faith!

(Read Wynn Drost’s book, Dedicated to Revival, pp. 126-127)

[1] Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (1012). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>