Summary: Faith is the first step you must take to receive mercy from God. Faith is not just believing God exists, it is acting on that belief. Faith=Action. It is staking your entire eternity on the offer God has extended for you to have a personal relationship with Him.
16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
17 (as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness.
23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. (NASB)
Trusting God’s promises is one of the most fundamental ways that you can consciously glorify God. When you believe a promise of God, you honor God’s ability to do what he promised and his willingness and his wisdom to know how to do it.
Faith is the first step you must take to receive mercy from God. Faith is not just believing God exists, it is acting on that belief. Faith=Action. It is staking your entire eternity on the offer God has extended for you to have a personal relationship with Him.
All of us have had negative experiences. But these negative experiences have trained us to look at things in a cynical way. Because we have been disappointed so many times, we are tempted to believe in nothing or no one. When asked to believe in a promise for the future, often we respond by saying, "I'll believe it when I see it!" This, however, is really only a partial truth. The sad reality of the situation is that even when we do see it we often don't believe it even then. You can tell that we don't, because we generally say, "I can't believe it!" This is how we have been trained.
A lack of faith is itself a negative thing that has been encouraged by Satan. He wants to keep us locked into an attitude of negativity. He wants us to continue to believe in a lie. Someone once said that most people would rather climb a hundred-foot pole and believe a lie than stand on the ground and believe the truth. He had a unique way of putting things. But it's true. We tend to believe what we want to believe and to disbelieve what we don't want to believe. Far too often that is based more on personal experiences, and how we feel about it than on fact. Faith is not based on feelings.
The Bible teaches us that faith is the key to everything. So, how do we develop faith? How do we have faith to believe when the situation looks impossible? How do we learn to walk by faith and not by sight? The world would say that seeing is believing. The word of God says that believing is seeing. Is this true? If it is, how do we get that kind of faith?
The Basis for Faith
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring-not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: ''I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed-the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. (Romans 4:16-17)
If you take the time to study what the Bible says about faith, you will come to the inescapable conclusion that faith must have a solid foundation. It must be grounded in that foundation. Faith must have an object, a basis. We are not called to have faith in faith itself. There are many people teaching the Bible today who seem to be saying that you need to have faith in your faith. But faith is not convincing ourselves of something that is true or not true, Faith is believing in something that is true. Faith is not faith in faith. The only true basis for faith is trusting God.