Have Faith

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What does it mean to “have faith?” And in what is our faith to be placed? In a culture with a thousand different philosophies, how can we know what to believe?  For the Christian, faith is what we believe about God and about what He has said through His Word, His Son, and His Spirit.  God spoke two distinct things about Jesus: that Jesus is His Son (Matthew 3:17), and that God has given us eternal life through Him (1 John 5:11).  Faith that honors and pleases God holds those two professions as truth. True faith stakes everything on them.

When I say I have faith in God, I am not making a statement about my assent to the truths of Christianity; I am making a statement about the truthfulness of what God has said about Jesus Christ.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who came to earth, lived a perfect life, died bearing my sins, was buried, and rose to life.  When I say that I believe in Jesus, I am putting all my hope and confidence in God’s power to save me as He has promised.  That is why “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).  I cannot see Jesus with my own eyes, nor have I ever seen heaven.  But I believe that He is the risen Lord and that His sacrifice is sufficient to save me and give me eternal life.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are blessed in every way; for this life and life eternal.  You are blessed because you stand on the confidence of God’s testimony, not on the traditions of men.  You are blessed because “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:10). But for us who believe, “we will see the glory of God” (John 11:40).  Our faith will be made sight and our hope in Christ will be confirmed.  In the chronicles of heaven, our names will be recorded among the great saints of human history, and we will be commended with those who pleased God by their faith.  Oh, what a blessing it is to believe!

Advent 2015 – Day 21 – Glorious Joy!

 adventcandlesweek3“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even thought you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1 Peter 1:8)

Faith and joy are links in a golden chain that binds us to Jesus.  Because we believe, we have joy.  Because we have joy, we believe.   Peter tells us that our belief is rewarded with “an inexpressible and glorious joy.”  That means we have a joy that cannot be described with mere human words.  But that doesn’t mean that we don’t express it.  It is evident in our words and attitudes, and especially in our interactions with others.  It is joy spoken without words.  But it gets even better . . .

Peter also describes it as a “glorious joy.”  The Greek word for glory is doxa, and it describes the awesome light that radiates from God’s presence.  The word joy comes from the root word chara which speaks of greeting someone with delight.   Now, go with me to one of the Messianic verses from the Old Testament: Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Jesus is “the true light that gives light to every man” (John 1:9).  His is a light that darkness cannot overcome (v. 5).  Oh, this is so incredible!  Because of the faith we have in Jesus, we now bring the light—the glorious light—of Christ into this dark world!  We greet the world with joy and shine the light of the glory of the Son of God that cannot be overcome!  You and I are ambassadors of light and joy!

And all we have to do is believe.