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Summary: Do you face the future with your heart filled with fear, or do you face the future with your heart filled with faith in the goodness of God?

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2009 10 11 St Lukes Title: The Life of Faith

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 11:1 – 6

1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.

3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

Do you face the future with your heart filled with fear, or do you face the future with your heart filled with faith in the goodness of God?

There are many things in today’s world that could cause anxiety in our minds. It is so easy for us to concentrate our attention on difficulties and problems rather than on our responsibilities and opportunities.

President Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

When people forget God, they either tremble in fear as they face the future, or they run from danger, going away from the place of duty, responsibility, and opportunity.

Dr. W. F. Powell, expressed this truth as follows:

When faith in God goes, Man the Thinker loses his greatest thought.

When faith in God goes, Man the Worker loses his greatest motive.

When faith in God goes, Man the Sinner loses his strongest help.

When faith in God goes, Man the Sufferer loses his securest refuge.

When faith in God goes, Man the Lover loses his fairest vision.

When faith in God goes, Man the Mortal loses his only home.

We need to walk by faith in our relationship with the living God, He has always proven faithful in meeting our deepest needs when we trust him and obey his loving commandments for our lives.

I. To walk in faith we need to know that faith brings victory.

Many people do not have faith in faith.

The wise man admonishes: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5 – 6).

All of us can be tempted to put our confidence in human wisdom and understanding. We apply scientific and logical methods to the problems of life as well as to the possibilities of the future. If we achieve success by leaning on our own understanding, we become egotistical and conceited.

Many people lean on the counsel of the ungodly. The happy man, the successful man, the spiritual man, is one who stays away from the counsel of the ungodly (Ps. 1:1). The ungodly man is he who forgets God, ignores God, or rejects God. He approaches the problems of life as if God did not exist or as if God were unconcerned and unavailable to help.

We live in a day that emphasises the use of scientific methods for solving problems in life. The scientist poses a question, makes an assumption, performs an experiment to test a hypothesis.

But if people want to find the real meaning of life, they need to live the life of faith - not as an experiment - but as truth.

When people put their confidence in the invisible God and live according to the divine plan, they discover through personal experience the reality of the invisible God.

Real faith increases faithfulness. Genuine faith, victorious faith in the living God.

Faith produces faithfulness. Throughout the Bible and throughout Christian history, people of faith have been people of action. They have been people of moral and spiritual achievement.

When we put our full confidence in God, we accept God’s way as our way and God’s plans as our plans.

Hebrews 11, often called Faith’s Hall of Fame, shows us a beautiful display of the fruits of genuine faith. In each instance, faith manifested itself in terms of faithfulness, commitment, and involvement in the will and work of God.

1. Faith caused Abel to worship with his best (Heb. 11:4).

2. Because of his faith, Enoch walked day by day with God (Heb. 11:5).

3. Because of his faith, Noah responded to God’s warning (Heb. 11:7).

4. Because of his faith, Abraham walked in obedience to the commandment of God (Heb. 11:8 – 10).

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