Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
Believing in the promises of God and living that belief is at the core of every Christian life. Here are five facets of faith to consider as you proceed with your Christian walk.
1. Faith is free to anyone willing to claim it.
Nothing worth having is usually free, but the greatest gift in the universe is on offer 24/7. All we have to do is ask for the gift of grace from God, acknowledging that we are a sinner in need of the salvation offered because of the sacrifice made for us on the Cross.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
2. Faith makes us right with God.
Paul tells us that we all are sinners (Romans 3:23). No one is exempt from the need to be made right with God. When we are made right with Him, we come back into the relationship with Him which had been broken by our sin.
The Bible tells us that in a time before man had the luxury of believing in a Savior, Abraham’s faith in God was counted to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6). In other words, because Abraham believed, he was saved.
Until we embrace faith in Christ, we are cut off from God. But, when we accept Christ as our Savior, the curtain that separates us from a perfect God is torn away.
3. Faith expresses itself through love.
Faith is a two-way street of love. Not only is it the direct result of God’s love for us, but it also encourages us to show that same love to others.
If you have ever tried to do a good deed for a complete stranger, then you know that acts of kindness take a certain amount of courage. Your offer of help might be rejected. You might get called names. Only if you can feel love for someone you don’t really know, all because God loves you despite all your flaws, can you take the leap of faith required to do good things for strangers.
4. True faith can claim good works.
If you have faith in Christ, then you should be able to claim good works in His name. These works may be as simple as being kind to someone who is treating you badly or making food for a neighbor who is ill.
James tells us that “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (2:17). In other words, if you call yourself a believer but you do not let that belief affect your actions, then just what, exactly, do you really believe?
True faith is life-changing because when you accept how truly awesome it is that the God of the universe cared enough about you to die for you, then you are moved to want to pay that beautiful gift forward.
5. Faith pleases God.
There’s a reason beyond the understanding of a humble human that God created us in His image. There’s a reason that He is ever so patient with a stubborn creation that repeatedly turns away from Him even though He is forever saving us from our own folly.
One thing we can understand, however, is that our faith in Him pleases God. The Psalmists tell us:
The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation. (Psalm 147:11 & 149:4)
The wise man of Proverbs assures us that “. . . those who deal faithfully are His delight” (12:22b).
Of all the wonders of faith, perhaps this is the most amazing thing of all–that we humans are capable of bringing joy to the God who tells the waves, this far.