Faith is an interactive word. Faith is a response to the Living God. Faith always interlocks our heart to His heart. Faith is our response to God’s love.
Interlocks our heart
Picture the Father’s arms open wide and His children’s response by running to meet Him with open arms – it is an embracing, enveloping and unifying love.
This is our relationship though we don’t always feel it. His arms are outstretched and opened wide. We are invited to respond to His open-hearted embrace.
Faith is believing HE IS LOVE. Faith is believing He awaits our response. Faith is believing His love does exist, therefore our heart responds with love to HIS LOVE.
Elisabeth Elliot observes, “Faith does not eliminate questions, but faith knows where to take them,’ and ‘Faith’s most severe tests come not when we see nothing, but when we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith in vain.”
Faith does not eliminate questions, but faith knows where to take them. ~Elisabeth Elliot
Yet, when we lean into God’s heart and character, we can stand firm in faith because it is not based on what our eyes see or our ear hears, but on who HE is. Faith is defined as: an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God. It is “the firm belief of God’s testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.”
The Word of God declares, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ And, ‘We walk by faith, not by sight.’ And, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’ And, ‘Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
If faith is based on who God is and what He has declared. And if faith is an assurance of things hoped for and what we need to live and walk in daily. And our faith’s testing leads to our being steadfast which means, “Firm in belief, determination or adherence; immovable.” Then it stands to reason that faith is a heart decision that will test our mind.
Faith is a heart decision that will test our mind.
The story of Joseph comes to mind. I appreciate how Dr. Sumrall spoke of Joseph’s three coats and how these coats were used in testing his character. The character tests led to Joseph’s faith growing strong because he refused bitterness and he chose to love God and others.
Dr. Sumrall proposes Joseph’s three coats as being:
1) The Coat of Human Affection which was received from his earthly father. Known as the Coat of Many Colors, it entailed Joseph receiving favoritism above his siblings. This coat was removed by his brothers when they sold him into servitude.
2) The Coat of Human Accomplishment was seen in all Joseph accomplished as a servant to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s captain of the guard. It was removed by Pharaoh’s adulterous wife when she falsely accused him due to his refusal to walk in adultery with her.
3) The Coat of Divine Revelation which is a white coat of Righteousness given by God in heaven to wear for all eternity.
Dr. Sumrall refers to a heavenly coat of righteousness, yet we can experience this ‘right relationship’ now through Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter states, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Peter continues, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him. ~1 Peter 1:8
Recently, I was listening to The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and I found his desire to create a creed which would contain the essentials of every known religion and yet be free from offending any religion to be interesting.
Benjamin Franklin’s creed states, “That there is one God, who made all things. That He governs the world by His providence. That He ought to be worshiped by adoration, prayer, and thanksgiving. But that the most acceptable service of God is doing good to man. The soul is immortal, and God will certainly reward virtue and punish vice, either here or hereafter.”
Benjamin Franklin’s creed is well stated. And I appreciate what Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed, “If you can’t fly, then run, if you can’t run, then walk, if you can’t walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.’ And, ‘Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
Faith sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible. ~Corrie ten Boom
May this be a year where our faith grows stronger each day, each week, and each month. And if we falter, may we arise, brush off the dust, and begin walking in faith again. Because faith is an interactive word. Faith is our response to the Living God. Faith always interlocks our heart to His heart. Faith is our response to God’s love.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ~Robert Frost
With the world around us walking in all manner of things, let us choose to walk in faith and love. Let us refuse fear and hate. Let us take the road less traveled. Let us respond to God’s love in faith.
God, we are thankful for Your peace which passes all understanding and that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. And though uncertainty surrounds us, we believe Your character never changes. We believe You are Faithful and True.
God, we pray You would help us experience Your amazing LOVE, Your bountiful GRACE and Your incomparable PEACE throughout the year. Amen.
Hebrews 11:1; Romans 1:17c; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 3:11b; James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Philippians 4:7; Revelation 19:11.
Elliot, Elisabeth. Quotes from www.goodreads.com Retrieved December 28, 2020.
Franklin, Benjamin. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Narrated by Fredd Wayne, Audible, 2006. [Quotation cited from: https://www.ushistory.org/franklin/autobiography/page44.htm This public domain content is presented by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942. Publishing electronically as ushistory.org. On the Internet since July 4, 1995.]
Frost, Robert. Quotes from www.goodreads.com Retrieved December 28, 2020.
New American Standard Bible, copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Sumrall, Lester. The Great People of History. Narrated by Lester Sumrall.
The ESV Bible, copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary. www.webstersdictionary1828.com Retrieved December 28, 2020.