Faith: The belief in something when no evidence supports it (Heb 11:1). Hmm…soak that in for a sec.
Faith is not actively displaying patterns of behavior that support your belief. That’s being faithful. Faith is not exercised for the purpose of seeking favor/blessings. It is the expectation of blessings in a circumstance where you have no control. When you’re living in faith, no actions on your part make a difference to the situation. It is complete and utter trust in God.
I’m an organized person. I plan and budget. I make and meet goals. If plans require modification, I adjust accordingly. I circle back, follow up, and follow through. God knows this about me. After all, He created me. While these are sought after skills in business, God has revealed to me that no faith is required for living life in that fashion. The challenge to faith for someone like me is my mind’s logic. The business brain calculates the improbability of something and often attempts to plan out solutions.
Again…FAITH is the believing when there is no (humanly) logical reason to do so. Twice in two years, God has placed me in a life situation where my only option is to believe with all my heart, mind, and soul that God is working on my behalf for my good (Rom 8:28). He’s been building my faith to such strength that I have joy, yes joy, in what most would view as a dire situation (1 Thes 5:16-18).
Joy is not an emotion. Emotions are based on conditions. That’s happiness. Happiness is conditional. Joy is not. Joy is a state of being. Because my faith has grown to this level, I find joy in my circumstance. For many, that may sound like I’m off my rocker. But hear me when I say, that when you have joy in a bad situation, your perception is optimistic and you’re attune to noting the smallest of signs that God is on the move.
Things take time. God may have to move another person somewhere in order to move you into that slot. He may have to create a series of situations and position people around you. He may have to place it in the heart of another to step outside of their comfort zone and assist in giving you a leg up (Hab 2:3). These things take time (Isa 40:31). But God’s timing is perfect. Faith is accepting circumstances to unfold with respect for God’s timing and not your personal preference.
In building my faith, my state of being is that of joy. With joy, comes a sense of peace that truly does surpass all understanding (Phil 4:7). My logical, businesslike, organized mind would have no peace at all if it were not for the joy that comes from faith. That peace is what adjusts your mind and even the personal desire of your heart into being on par with God’s purpose for your life (Rom 12:2).
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that there aren’t moments of discouragement. That’s Satan speaking doubt into your mind and placing fear into your heart…or attempting to. Those moments are mere seeds of thought. Seeds can only grow if you let them take hold. Expect those thoughts to float in because Satan likes nothing more than to pull us into his world of despair. Through faith, God has given me the power to cast those thoughts to the wind within seconds of their appearance. The stronger my faith, the quicker I can discern a bad seed from a good one. I refuse to allow a vine to grow that could wrap itself around me and carry me into the abyss. Faith is a stronghold. It’s a shield against the powers of darkness (Psalm 28:7). Faith is powerful.
Why do we think faith is so difficult to achieve? A child trusts her father to drive the car safely to the destination. A child doesn’t concern herself with whether or not she will be safe. A child doesn’t concern herself with what route her father is taking. A child doesn’t concern herself with how long it takes to arrive. A child is full of joy when she gets there. But, a fussy child can cause a delay in arrival.
I’m child of one and only living God! He is my Father. I will trust Him to take me out of any situation and deliver me safely to my destination. He has a know-all GPS and can avoid needless congestion and mishaps. He may decide to map a route for the purpose of picking up others who are to be of assistance to me, either along the way or, once we arrive. Therefore, I won’t concern myself over the route my Father chooses. My Father knows the route. He’s a safe driver. He shields me from harm. I won’t concern myself with how long it takes to get there. I expect to dance, sing, and shout praises all the way until I arrive. …And I will do nothing to hinder my Father’s progress while He takes me on this journey.
Faith brings joy. Joy brings peace. And that’s powerful.
Hebrews 11:1 (KJV) “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Romans 8:28 (KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Habakkuk 2:3 (ESV) “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV) “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
Philippians 4:7 (NKJV) “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Romans 12:2 (NLT) “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Psalm 28:7 (NKJV) “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore, my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.”