Summary: Defining our Faith
What is Faith
There once was a tourist who came too close to the edge of the Grand Canyon, lost his footing and plunged over the side, clawing and scratching to save himself. After he disappeared out of sight; and, just before he fell into open space, he stumbled upon a scrubby bush which he desperately grabbed with both hands. Filled with terror, he called out toward Heaven, "Is there anyone up there?"
A calm, powerful voice came out of the sky, "Yes, there is." The tourist pleaded, "Can you help me?" The calm voice replied, "Yes, I probably can. What is your problem?" "I fell over the cliff and am dangling in space holding on to a bush that is about to let go," he replied. "Please help me!" The voice from above said, "I’ll try. Do you believe?" "Yes, yes, I believe," came the response. The voice from above said, "Do you have faith?" "Yes, yes, I have strong faith," came the reply. The calm voice said, "Well, in that case, simply let loose of the bush and everything will turn out fine." There was a tense pause, followed by the tourist yelling, "Is there anyone else up there?"
It is one thing to talk about faith;
• But it’s a completely different thing to act on faith!
• Today I would like us to take a little time and discover what faith really is;
• And, just how faith can help us in our struggle to be everything that we can be in Christ!
Today we are going to look at Heb. 11:1-3
• And as we study the text
• We’re going to look at six different statements that are derived from that text:
(1) Faith is believing when we don’t see it;
(2) Faith is obeying when we don’t understand it;
(3) Faith is giving when we don’t have it;
(4) Faith is persisting when we don’t feel like it;
(5) Faith is thanking God before we receive it;
(6) Faith is trusting God even if we don’t get it!
Heb 11:1 What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Heb 11:2 God gave his approval to people in days of old because of their faith.
Heb 11:3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.
In the first verse of our text, Hebrews 11:1 (NLT), we read: "What is faith?
• And we are told that Faith is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen.
• It’s the evidence of things we cannot yet see."
• Now this almost sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it?
However, the Bible – we know is the written Word of God –
• And it teaches us that faith is imagining the future now - in the present!
• It’s being sure of what we do not see –
• It is seeing it in advance!
• Mankind says, "Seeing is believing," But God says: "Believing is seeing!"
• In 1960, the 35th President of the United States of America, John F Kennedy (1917 - 1963), said,
• "Let’s put a man on the Moon before the end of the decade."
• When he made that statement, the technology for putting a man on the Moon
• Hadn’t been invented;
• But, some things have to be believed in before we can see them!
• Just nine (9) years later, in 1969,
• Neil Armstrong (Born: 1930), became the first man ever to step foot upon the surface of the Moon.
We have got to believe things in advance
• Everything that has ever happened in our lives was an impossibility
• Before it became a reality;
• And, someone had to believe in it first!
• Faith is nothing more than trusting God to turn our dreams into reality!
• We have to have faith that it is going to happen in order for it to happen
• We have to be certain that God can and will do these things in our lives!
The writer of Hebrews, in Hebrews 11:8, tells us:
"It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going."
• I think we all know the story or have at least heard it once
• About how Abraham, was living in the land of Ur,
• He was 75-years old ,
• And God tells him that He is going to send him on a journey –