What is faith? How do you know you have this faith? Is the certainty of things hoped for sufficient?
People in everyday life do not realize, but in fact they go to the doctor by faith, I take a prescription, read it, go to the pharmacy, ask questions and then buy the medicines prescribed by the doctor. They don’t think too much about how well the medicine will work for them, but by faith, they trust the doctor because they know doctors will help them.
When it comes to important decisions in life such as: choosing a career, the university to attend, who to marry, etc., most of the time people do not make hasty decisions. They choose which university to attend according to the profession they are practicing and they think that the respective school will help them to have a source of income for the rest of their lives.
The most important decision in our children’s lives has to do with where they will spend their eternity. Interestingly, many people do not ask questions about the evaluation of their faith and what they trust. In the choices we and our children make, and especially in spiritual decisions, it is a matter of life and death. Understanding this, the question arises: do we understand what kind of faith God accepts? We have read the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1(NASB):
“Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.”
First of all, faith is an understanding that what we believe to be true is not a dream and not a supposition. It is important to understand that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as the evangelist Luke writes, are realities. The biblical teachings about the life of Jesus present historical facts. True faith is based on real facts. The truth about Jesus Christ is not just a historical fact, it is not a story, but a trust in the things we have not seen, a trust in the things we hope for. The truth about God is shown to us, made known in the person of the Lord Jesus.
Secondly, true faith does not just mean knowing something and being convinced that something is true, but accepting that it is true for me. This is not because someone tells me, not because that’s what a denomination thinks or because that’s what my parents think, but because it’s a Bible truth that I believe myself.
Faith is not faith until it becomes a certainty of things hoped for you, a certainty of things hoped for me, a certainty that what the Word of God says and His promises are valid for me. Thus faith is useful for me as the apostle Paul says.
It is not enough to trust in the religion of my parents, of the church, of a confession, but the faith I have after hearing the Word is that I have eternal life by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and when I die I will always be with the Lord. Faith is what gives us help beyond the power of people, loved ones, etc. The only One who can help us is God who answers our prayers. He sent His Son to die in our place and pay for our sin.
So it is not about the power of our faith, but about the person or thing we trust. When we come before God we must believe that He loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16 NASB). My salvation does not depend on my strength, but on faith and trust in the Lord Jesus; that is why I will not trust in anything or anyone other than Him.
When we understand these truths, we clearly communicate to our children, our loved ones, that trust in the Lord Jesus is the only way to eternal life. Why is it important to understand our total dependence on the Lord Jesus Christ and our certainty in Him, who has promised us eternal life? The same faith by which we have been saved will keep us on His path, and we will understand what it means to live by faith. Our daily dependence on God will help children, grandchildren, and those we teach to see the reality of faith that is a certainty of things in the Lord Jesus.
The faith of Abraham was an example for his followers, Isaac and Jacob. ”By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he left, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8 NASB). Abraham had faith and acted on the basis of what God told him to do.
Abraham’s faith was based on God’s promises that he believed, and he chose to live based on them. Thus he was an example to his followers in walking by faith. By choosing to put our trust in the certainty of things of God’s promises, we can walk by faith and be an example to our followers, too.
Translated by Liza Bîrlădeanu