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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of January 9, 2012

Faith is the ability to see God in the dark.

Have you ever felt that God isn't with you? That when life became tough and darkened God abandoned you? Such a feeling is common to many Christians. However, you must not rely on feelings; instead, you must rely on faith, knowing that God is always there—you just may not always be able to see him in your circumstances. That's why faith is so important.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. For example, if a family member dies, you may understandably question whether or not God could possibly be with you during such difficult times. However, by faith, you can be certain of what [you] do not see—certain that God was there watching over the whole situation.

Romans 4:19-21 describes how Abraham had faith even though it looked like God could never do what he said he would: Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

In his dark circumstances, Abraham could still see God—he had faith. That's the same type of faith to which God is calling you.

Getting into Heaven is not about what you've done; it's about what God's done.

You have probably encountered a few people who hoped that they would get into Heaven because they have lived a good life. Indeed, there are many people in the world who think that all the right things they do will get them into Heaven. However, Paul knew that "There is no one righteous, not even one" (Romans 3:10).

Fortunately, God loved us so much that He provided an answer: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Furthermore, 1 Peter 3:18 tells us that "Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."

Therefore, it is no wonder Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

Notice that nothing in any of those verses refers to our ability to reach Heaven. That's because it is impossible for us to reach Heaven on our own strength. Remember, "There is no one righteous, not even one." Therefore, our salvation must be based entirely on what God has done. "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The only requirement for getting into Heaven is believing in Jesus as your Savior and Lord. "If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10).

There is nothing that you can do to earn salvation. Jesus is the only way to Heaven. That's because getting into Heaven is not about what you've done; it's about what God's done.