A Wisdom Retreat - January 13

Faith Is...

Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

My favorite professor often quoted from Lewis Carroll's book entitled Through the Looking-Glass. He especially used the conversation between Alice and the White Queen:

"How old are you?" asked the queen.

"I'm seven and a half, exactly."

"You needn't say ‘exactly'; I can believe it without that. Now I'll give you something to believe: I'm just one hundred and one, five months, and a day."

Alice protested, "I can't believe that!"

"Can't you? Try again—draw a long breath, and shut your eyes," the queen urged.

Alice roared, "There's no use trying; one can't believe impossible things!"

To this the queen responded, "I daresay you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it half-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

The unregenerate man on Main Street, USA believes this is the meaning of faith: take a long breath, close your eyes, and begin to believe things that are impossible to believe.

What do you think? Maybe you have been afraid that this is its meaning. It is not!

We expect this kind of thinking outside the church, yet we are shocked when we find it inside the church. Faith is not an elusive, passive thing—it is alive and active.

The fruit of faith is substance and evidence—that which shows in our lives and proves what we believe.

So what is faith? Faith is the act of:

  • considering Jesus Christ worthy of trust as to His character and motives;
  • placing confidence in His ability to do just what He says He will do;
  • entrusting the salvation of our soul into the hands of Christ;
  • committing the work of saving our soul to the care of the Lord.

This means taking ourselves out of our own keeping and entrusting ourselves into the keeping of Jesus Christ.

This means that we listen to what God is saying in His Word. Paul exhorted Timothy, his son in the faith, to "accurately handle the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15) because it is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

A friend once asked, "When was the last time God spoke to you and what did He say?" Then he held up his Bible and said, "This is where He is speaking. Are you hearing Him? Are you obeying Him?"

How about you—are you walking by faith? "Now, faith is . . ."

Prayer point: Take time in your prayer life and Bible reading, treating it like a conversation. Before reading the Scriptures, ask God to help you hear Him. After reading the text, ask God to help you obey Him. Pray as the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5).

Extra Refreshment: Read in Hebrews 11 the instances of people hearing God and doing what He says.

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Christianity / Devotionals / A Wisdom Retreat with Stephen Davey / A Wisdom Retreat - January 13