Posted by: Derek Guyer | May 21, 2010

Getting to the Roots of Faith

I recently wrote  about the idea that faith has substance, if it’s real. I challenged our claims to faith and asked the question:

“What would the people around you say about your faith? Is there substance? Is there evidence?”

I think the majority of the church, if they were honest, would say this is a widespread problem. We read all throughout scripture, story after story, of men whose lives were changed because they trusted in God. They were tested and stood firm. They “were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.” (Hebrews 11:35-38 NIV)

What about us? Are we suffering because of our faith in God? Faith is evidenced in the sacrifices, obedience, and lives of those who say they have it. Does it even slightly appear that you have faith? What sacrifices have you made? Are you obedient? Does your life represent a walk of faith? Those mentioned above in Hebrews 11 had gone through all of that and still had never even seen the fulfillment of Christ.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.”

Hebrews 11:39 NIV

They never experienced His perfection, His example, His power, and most of all, His love. They persevered through all of those things based on the promises of the things you and I so easily take for granted. They fought, suffered, and died without the ultimate fulfillment and example of grace and mercy that are available to us at every moment of every day through Jesus Christ, our Savior and LORD. How?

I believe those men and women saw deeper into the purpose of their lives. They saw a God who had made them for a purpose, and they ached to live within His will. They saw God’s will, and they were so in love with Him and His perfect ways that they were humbled at the opportunity to even be a part of God’s people at all. They would gladly suffer, because they knew the sufferings of this life weren’t the end.

So what did they know? What was it they understood about God’s perfect will for their lives? What gave them hope to suffer through persecution? What gave Noah the ability to persevere building an ark for 100 years in the middle of dry land in a time where there had never been rain? What gave Abraham so much trust in God that he would offer his son Isaac on an altar as a sacrifice to God? What made Moses believe putting his staff into the Red Sea would actually make the water separate so that a million people could walk through on dry land? What made Rahab, a prostitute, turn against her own people to save the spies from the people of Israel? What did all of them know? What did they understand that we apparently do not?

These are the questions that change us, our homes, and the church. They’re the questions that lead to the deeper, richer faith that leads to an abundant life. So, don’t hide from them. Ask them. Deal with them. This is where your faith will begin to take root and grow as never before.

Where is God asking for you to have faith in your life? Are you listening? Have you even noticed Him asking for deeper faith from you? If not, why not? If so, how are you responding?

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