The following e-mail came from Brother J:
I love your website. I was wondering whether you could give a detailed explanation of what Faith actually "looks like." I am struggling very much right now and have been suicidal recently from loss of hope. I am trying to get "faith," but what I had before obviously wasn’t it. It wasn’t right. I need an understanding of what it is, what it looks like, and examples if you could, please.
Dear Brother J, thank you for your e-mail. May the face of the Lord shine upon you and all that you put your hand to. Today is the day of salvation.
The foundation of all glorious living and eternal life is faith. Faith is the currency of the kingdom of God. Just as money is the currency by which man functions in the economy, faith is the money of God’s kingdom; and without it, there is no access to His goodness.
Brother J’s question, on the surface, seems rather simplistic, but it is far, far deeper than it appears. Jesus said in Luke 18:6-8:
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Was Christ posing a facetious question? Didn’t Jesus know what mountains of faith we would become? Just as it is recognized in the field of psychology that man generally believes he is smarter and better looking than he actually is, so it is with his perception of faith. We often see ourselves standing taller in faith than we actually are. The following passage in Mark 11:22-26 should make this principle clear:
22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.
25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
All the books and articles in the world cannot fully plumb the magnificence of the faith of Christ. This feature will point to the inerrant truth of the Authorized King James Version. We will have faith in God that he will expand and develop our understanding.
The Hebrew and Greek dictionaries found in Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, use words such as "established, trusty, trustworthiness, truth, to trust or believe, persuasion, credence, reliance upon Christ for salvation, confidence," and more, when defining the word faith. Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines "faith" in part as "Evangelical, justifying, or saving faith, is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God’s testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God’s character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God’s testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation." [End of quote]
Faith is sourced in a person, and that person is Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Faith begins at a fixed place in time, and from this point, it grows, develops, or dies. The place where "deliverance faith" begins is where one acknowledges his sin, repents toward God, and believes upon the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of his soul. This is a place Jesus calls born-again.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Verse 22 states that we participate in the righteousness of God by faith. Take note of the word by. In this context, the word by means "mediator" or "something we pass through." So, we enter into the righteousness of God through the agency of faith.
Verse 22 continues: "...which is by faith of Jesus Christ..." The word of in this text, according to Webster, means "from or out of; proceeding from, as the cause, source, means, author or agent bestowing." [End of quote] Saving faith emanates from and is sourced in Christ Jesus. Father Abraham believed God and it was counted unto Him for righteousness, and the seed of faithful Abraham was Christ. Galatians 3:13-16:
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
Brother J asked, "What does faith actually look like?" The answer is that faith looks like Christ.
Hebrews defines "faith" in chapter 11:1:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith and hope are sometimes confused. Faith basically functions in the present, and hope (which is supported by faith) functions in the future. Hope is partly defined as looking forward to something you are certain will come to pass. Hope and wishing, by the way, are not the same thing.
Brother J is asking for an example of faith in action. Hebrews 11:1 refers to faith and hope. An excellent example of faith in action would be in regard to the blessed hope which is eternal life in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:1-3:
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
We believe His Words, and they are the substance of this blessed hope. We have not seen with natural eyes, neither have our carnal hands touched the mansions of the city of God. But by faith we have, and by faith these words have substance. So then, faith is the substance of things hoped for, and faith is, in fact, our evidence that the blessed hope exists. Listen to Hebrews 11:1 again: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." To a true believer, faith in God’s Word is fact.
I once saw a simple example of faith. It involved a minister and a chair. The minister placed a chair out on the pulpit platform and said he was going to demonstrate faith in action. He walked over to the chair and flopped his considerable bulk into it. He then relaxed by crossing his legs and leaning back with his hands clasped behind his head. He explained that he had faith that the chair would accommodate his weight safely, enabling him to throw all caution to the wind. He believed in that chair. He had faith in that chair and committed his safety to it. The chair represents the Word of God and His promises. Our faith causes us to rest upon it. Our faith is demonstrated and becomes effectual as we believe God’s Word. The following account is recorded in Matthew 8:5-10:
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
The man said, "speak the word only."
Jesus said, "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."
Just as faith is in the Christ of the Bible and no other, so is hope. Colossians 1:27:
To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
It is common for man—and even many Christians—to misplace hope. The end result of misplaced hope is serious disappointment and despair. Consider these few examples:
• For women who put their hope in their husbands, note that 90% of all U.S. females will become widows.
• For those who have staked their hope on future retirement benefits, consider the 401Ks that became 201Ks, the pension funds that have disappeared, and Scripture’s reference to uncertain riches.
• For those who have placed their hopes in marriage, note that when divorce, separation, and the morbidity rate are factored, the percentage of successful marriages are measured by some at 10%. Morbidity rate, by the way, is the percentage of marriages that stay together for reasons other than mutual attraction.
• For those who rest their hopes in their health, careers, or any other endeavor, be advised that all earthly hopes end suddenly. But those who set their hopes upon the God of the Bible and his son Jesus Christ truly have the proverbial hope that springs eternal. The prophet Habakkuk writes this beautiful truth in Habakkuk 3:17-19:
17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places....
Not only does faith begin at a place certain, but it can be developed in a structured way. Romans 10:17:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Hear and read and embrace the Word of God, and your faith will flourish. Praying in the Holy Ghost will also build faith. Jude 1:20-21:
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
Every believer is required to grow in faith. We must be about this business. Those who are rich in faith are truly wealthy beyond earthly measure. Faith is the currency of the kingdom.
Brother J, from your message, I’m not totally certain you have surrendered your life to the King of Glory. To establish your salvation, click on to "Further With Jesus." Follow the simple instructions and you will be miraculously transformed . Then, return to this article.
Listed below are a number of marvelous features laden with Holy Ghost secrets that will continue to develop and solidify your faith. Visit one or two of them daily, and go back and do it again and again until you understand the principles well. Brother J, your problems are now solutions. Luke 12:32:
Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Speak that verse over yourself. Go in faith.
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Authorized King James Version