“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is the what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (Hebrews 11:1-3 NIV)
Many people have varying opinions about what faith is and how it should operate in our lives, but this particular passage of scripture reminds us how God defines faith. Having faith is being confident about those things we hope to see and the assurance about what we do not see.
By faith, we sit on chairs we did not see built, expecting them to support us without collapsing.
By faith, we live in our houses made from the wood of trees we did not grow and most of us–unless we built from the ground up–did not see the framework built, the foundation poured, or the roof installed, yet we expect the house to withstand the elements and we rest with assurance that it will keep us safe–every time we go to sleep.
By faith, we eat food in restaurants we did not cook, expecting not to become ill and the food will nourish us.
By faith, we walk outside expecting to breathe in oxygen, even though we cannot see it–we never challenge it is there.
By faith, we start up cars–expecting them to get us from one point to the other and we have no idea whether the car was built correctly or even if those responsible for inspecting the finished product, even knew how to do their jobs. We keep buying cars and driving them with assurance–until there is a mechanical problem.
By faith, we buy produce and other products from supermarkets–expecting them to be good even though we did not have a hand in growing anything or manufacturing anything we purchase.
By faith, we bring children into an uncertain world–confident that we will see them survive and thrive beyond the uncertainties and we do what we can–without being able to see into the future–to make sure they have a good life.
By faith, we teach our children to be careful when crossing streets, confident that when we have taught them, they will not foolishly walk in front of moving traffic.
By faith, when we know that all the utilities have been paid, we turn on water and light switches without checking to see if the pipes and wires are working. We simply expect them to be.
There are so many things we do by faith (not feelings–for feelings are fickle) without even thing about it, but when it comes to the things of God–our faith–confidence in Him–wavers because we listen to the naysayers and doubt.
Jesus said, “When we pray, we must believe we receive” that for which we have asked so if we have received, why ask for it again? Faith–to receive what we have asked for is demonstrated in our thanksgiving until it manifests itself–not in constantly asking for the same thing.
On the other hand, those who deliberately do dumb things and expect God to save them are not acting in faith, but foolishly. We can expect God to save us from situations we did not create or know about, but to do things foolishly in anticipation of Him being a magician–is foolish.
Now–is the time–we must have faith in God with complete confidence that all He has promised–He will provide and all we have to do is–believe it will come to pass.