Summary: This sermon is part of the "A Faith that Works" sermon series. In this sermon we explore the type of faith that pleases God, what that faith looks like, and how we can go about facing these giants by faith.
A Faith That Works
“Expecting God’s Best For Life”
The Bible says, “Each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27 NLT)
So the question becomes, “How can we stand before a holy and righteous God after our death?” Is it by being better than we are bad? Is it by keeping the Ten Commandments? Is it by being religious and going to church?
To all these ways the answer is no. There’s only one way, and Jesus said He was it. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
But to enter onto that path and follow it though this life takes faith.
“Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” (Hebrews 10:38 NKJV)
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV)
Therefore, the only way to gain God’s approval is to live our lives by faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith is therefore an important issue, and it’s vital that we learn how to live and be strengthened by faith.
“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17 NKJV)
Faith comes through our reading of the Bible and allowing God to speak to us through it. So we might just call the Bible faith food, and the more we read and get into it, and allow it to get into us, the more our faith will grow and develop.
Two blind men come to Jesus asking for a healing, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this,” to which they replied, “Yes Lord.” And Jesus said,
“According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matthew 9:29 NKJV)
Immediately their eyes were opened.
What Jesus said is that it was their choice to believe in Him. So what do we believe? What are we willing to believe God for in our lives. Are we willing to say to Jesus, “Yes Lord.”
But this must also be tempered with what the Apostle James said; “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.” (James 4:3 NKJV)
James conditions what we pray for. Not only does it hinge on our faith, but also on God’s glory. Are we asking to further His kingdom or our own wants and desires?
We are to pray and have faith in God for all things in our lives. The Apostle Paul tells us to be anxious for nothing, but with prayer and supplications with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known to God, Philippians 4:6-7.
Paul tells us that we’re to walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Corinthians 5:7. And as we’ve seen the writer of Hebrews says that God rewards those who live by faith and diligently seek Him, Hebrews 11:6.
Now the writer of Hebrews gives us the best description of what faith looks, and the type of faith that pleases God.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV)
Faith is then the assurance of those things we hope for and expect due to God’s faithfulness, and convinces us of their reality even though we may not see them at the present time.
Faith is the key that unlocks the doors and windows of heaven. It’s very important, therefore, that we grow, develop, and strengthen our faith, because faith is expecting God’s best for our lives.
Some contest this description seeing how rotten life has been, but God’s word says that God’s at work, even when times are tough God is turning them around for our ultimate good.
But in saying all of this, it’s important to understand what faith is not.
Faith is not positive thinking. And while positive thinking is a good thing, it’s limited in its scope and certainly isn’t faith. We may be freezing to death, but no matter how we spin the facts, no matter how positive we are, these thoughts are going to warm us up.
Faith also isn’t wishful thinking. It’s not saying, “I hope I don’t have any problems!” Good luck with that one. We’re all going to have problems and difficulties, and no matter how wishful our thinking may be, that reality isn’t going to change. Jesus makes that clear.
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)
We will have problems, but because Jesus has overcome the world through His death and resurrection, we can overcome those evils that aligned themselves against us. Wishful thinking will never do that.