Your Faith Has Made You Whole
by Billy Joe Daugherty
One of the best chapters in the entire Bible on the subject of faith is the 11th chapter of Hebrews. Any in-depth study of faith would include a study of the men listed in this chapter. I suggest the chapter be read while you read the words in this book on the subject of faith.
According to Paul, there abides now “faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).I definitely believe that all three of these are important. Without hope of eternal life,you would have no reason to live. Without love you could not experience the nature of God. These two are vital to the Christian. But right now, we will deal primarily with faith.
What is Faith?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is in the present tense. It believes NOW. It receives NOW. It acts NOW. One of the great differences between faith and hope is in the tense. Hope is usually concerned with the future, whereas faith is most often concerned with the present.
Sometimes we hear someone say that they are stepping out in faith in a new venture. Generally, they mean they don’t know what is going to happen or what the future holds. They feel an urge to try something new and take a stab at it.
The type of faith defines in Hebrews 11:1 does NOT operate this way. Instead, true faith in God has substance. When a person steps out in this type of faith, he will be standing on solid rock. THE SUBSTANCE IS FAITH IN GOD’S ETERNAL, UNCHANGING WORD.
You may hope for something for years. As long as you continue hoping, it will always be just beyond you. There are, on the other hand, many things you can bring into your life by faith. For instance, salvation is a good thing to hope for. But if you want to be saved, you need to put substance to your hope and receive Christ by faith right NOW. Although you do not see Him burst through the clouds or feel ninety-nine goose bumps, you are still saved if you have put your faith in Jesus Christ.
Although there may be no physical evidence for your faith, you do have sufficient evidence in God’s Word. Your evidence for what you believe is your faith in God’s Word. God is a witness. He will never lie. If you take God at His Word, that Word will stand good in the trial.
How Do We Get Faith?
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The best way to get faith is to hear the Word of God. It is important for you not only to hear it with your ears but also with you heart. To hear God’s Word in your heart requires openness and hunger for God’s message.
I suggest reading the Bible aloud, particularly the New Testament.
Say the Scriptures to yourself. Insert your own name where the message is personal. Make a list of the promises God’s Word has for you. By faith, believe, receive, and confess them daily. Faith will grow as you are continually hearing God’s Word.
Who Can Have Faith?
”God has dealt to EACH ONE a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome. God has dealt to every Christian the measure of faith. But you also have faith to be saved before you are a Christian. The Bible says, “Whoever desires” (Revelation 22:17) can be saved. Evidently, any person who hears god’s Word and will act on it can exercise faith. That includes all who will HEAR and OBEY God’s Word – saved or in the process of being saved.
People who do not hear God’s Word or will not obey it do not have the God-kind of faith. Faith requires hearing and obeying.
“And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for NOT ALL HAVE FAITH” (1 Thessalonians 3:2).
Faith Acts on God’s Word
God has spread a table before you filled with bountiful blessings. Naturally speaking, if someone sets a beautiful table of food before you, you know what to do with it. You don’t sit wishing and hoping that you could have some of that food. You don’t complain to your host that you do not have enough. Neither do you get mad and upset if someone at the table gets a big helping of creamed potatoes. You begin to help yourself to the food. It has been set before you to eat and be filled. There is probably more in the kitchen if you empty the serving bowls. You know that everyone at the table has equal rights and privileges to get their portion of each dish.
Now, God’s Word is the same. God has made ample provision for every need in your life. He promises a full, abundant supply. It is all yours for the asking. God just wants you to believe His Word and take what has been set before you. It does not offend God for you to take all you need. Any host is disappointed if she discovers one of her guests did not get enough. She wants each one to be satisfied. God is certainly the Almighty Creator, but He has chosen to set a table for you. What you receive from Him will come as a result of your actively reaching out and claiming His promises.
So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you? The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.’ Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road. Mark 10:51-52
Faith Is Not a Feeling
Sometimes people base their spiritual experiences on feelings and emotions.
Problems arise when the feelings and emotions change. If they have not been grounded in the Word of God, doubt will arise as to whether or not the experience was genuine.
For faith to be consistent, it must be based on something with more stability than your feelings.
You are not saved because you feel saved. You are saved because you have put your faith in God’s Word and acted on it. You may feel great today, tired tomorrow, and lonely next week, but hallelujah! God’s Word is going to say the same thing yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
Feelings are influenced by what you see, what you read, and what you hear. Everyone is exposed to things that are not consistent with God’s Word. If these things control your feelings and your feelings control your faith, you can be a Christian yet controlled by Satan’s devices.
Your faith must be controlled by God’s Word, not by what you feel, not by what circumstances look like, and not by what others tell you. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Your eyes, ears, heart, and mouth should be turned to God’s Word.
While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things
which are not seen are eternal.1 Corinthians 4:18
God’s Word is eternal. Your spiritual eyes must be focused on God (who is unseen) by looking at His Word.