The Just Shall Live by Faith
Greetings in the wonderful name of Jesus! We are living in perilous times today. We are in a day when everything we count as truth is being challenged on every side. If things continue as they are, we will see a day when those that choose to live by God’s word, will be considered a cult.
The apostle Paul truly hit the nail on the head when he told Timothy “In the last days perilous times shall come.” As we see this quickly approaching, what can we do to guard ourselves of the oncoming bombardment of a “lack of faith”?
Jesus said, in Luke 18:8 “When the son of man cometh, shall he find faith on earth?” We see all around us, men and women who are abstaining from worldly pleasures, fashionable attire, living a plain lifestyle, having Godly homes and families, standing for truth, and we thank God for them, but are they living by faith?
How can our Lord make such a statement when we see all these good things around us? Will it be worse than we see today? Or, are we being slowly rocked to sleep in a world of prosperity? One man said “the church had handled persecution much better than it handles prosperity.” Will he find faith when he returns? Will you be faithful until the end? Will we be known as men/women of faith? Let’s examine the scriptures and see what faith really is.
Hebrews 11:1 states “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Those things we can’t touch, but hope for. We can’t see, but hope for. We can’t feel, but hope for. People say we’re crazy, but we hope. They say we’re fanatics, but we hope. Everything around us will say it can’t be done, but faith says it will be done. Faith is not simply being a member of a church. It’s not only being “in the faith” of Christianity. It is trusting God for His Word and His promises to come to pass in our lives. Not looking to the arm of the flesh, but putting our trust solely upon God.
Paul went on to say, “by it (faith) the elders obtained a good report. Through faith the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice, Enoch was translated that he should not see death, Noah moved with fear, prepared an ark, to the saving of his house, Abraham obeyed; and went out, not knowing whither he went, Sarah received strength and conceived, (when she was past age), these all died in the faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them.” These men and women saw all the promises of God. They were persuaded that they would come to pass, even though they went to the grave without seeing them. They could not touch them, see them, or feel them; people surely said they were crazy, they were surely called fanatics, yet they hoped! This, I believe, is the faith that Jesus is looking for. A faith that is not mixed with the worlds thinking. A faith that is pure and unadulterated. A faith that the eye can not understand. A faith that does not depend on what the eye sees. This is the faith that is slowly leaving the church today.
In the midst of all our prosperity it takes a toll on our faith in God. You see if we have a bank account full of money, it does not take any faith to get what we need. If we need food, we write a check. If we need clothes we write a check. If we need medical advice, we go to the doctors and write a check (or use insurance). It almost seems that the checkbook has taken the place of our faith. I’m not against checkbooks, we have one also. I am just trying to get my point across. Where is this faith that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 17:20 “faith as a grain of mustard seed can move mountains”? Oh that the church would stand up and become independent of this world’s system. Let us be as Jude and “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints”. The kind of faith that allows us to fully and completely trust in the Lord for all of our needs. I believe we can have this kind of faith. I believe God desires to give us and increase our faith, because it always gives him the glory. If I need something and do not have the money for it, I begin to pray and seek the Lord, then God has the chance to open up the windows of heaven unto me and also the brother/sister that he chooses to use in this particular matter. The whole body can be edified, but if I have the money the whole blessing is lost. I don’t believe God entrusted us with all these riches to sit in the bank and collect interest.
Four times in the Bible it states “The just shall live by faith.” Is this living by faith simply just trusting in Christ as our Saviour? Or is it a life that is fully dependant upon God, and him providing, through the keeping of his promises? I must admit, even if my life does not line up to this standard. When I study “the just shall live by faith,” I see a people that were in a different kingdom; a people that refused to bow to the world’s system of figuring things out. A people that were saying in their heart, if God doesn’t do it, it won’t be done! I see the Lord calling his people back to this type of faith. As we have traveled across the east coast, I have met many families that are fighting to get back to this basic concept of living by faith. The song writer wrote “I care not today what tomorrow may bring, if shadow or sunshine or rain. The Lord, I know, ruleth o’er everything, and all of my worry is vain.” Living by faith in Jesus above! May the God of heaven send a binding across the whole earth that will bind every believer’s heart together. A binding that only God himself could tie, and no force in this life, or the one to come, can loosen!
Let’s look at Romans 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed.” Why would Paul tell us to glory in our tribulations? Come on Paul, don’t you understand my situation? How can I glory, when it seems all is not going my way? This is the story of the church today. Paul was trying to show us the benefits of our tribulations. When we go through these tribulations Paul says it will bring forth patience. We learn patience while waiting on God. While we are waiting on God, we go through experience. This combination of patience and experience, going through a trial, waiting on God, seeing God miraculously deliver, this whole process time and time again brings forth a hope that is shed abroad in our hearts, and we are no longer ashamed! It is through this process that we learn to “live by faith.” When this takes place, we can go through the greatest trial, and have our confidence in the living God. Let the skeptics doubt, let them laugh, mock, and say we are crazy, but God has put a hope within us that says “My God will deliver.”
We will stand in the company of men and women like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Rahab; among those that were stoned, sawn asunder, tempted, wandered, cruelly mocked, and imprisoned. Yet they did not even receive the promise and were still counted to have a “good report through faith.” We can experience God’s provision over and over again, so that all we can say is our God can do anything! But those that choose not to “live by faith” fail to experience God’s wonderful provision for his children. May all we that name the name of Jesus, be bound by his cord of faith. All glory be unto the “Author and Finisher of our faith.”
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