"Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see." Hebrews 11:1
The NLT says, "It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen."
As we begin 2014, God has spoken dreams and promises into my heart for this new year. I know in the past, the road between a promise from God and seeing that promise become fulfilled in my life has always been marked with great testing of my faith. I flip flop between faith and doubt; like a wave is blown and tossed by the wind, my faith is blown and tossed by my circumstances and feelings.
Thankfully, we don't have to have perfect faith to see His promises fulfilled. He is faithful to His word and He has always continued to encourage and reassure me whenever I've fallen into doubt or unbelief along the way. He is the author and perfecter of my faith. And He has used these times of testing to strengthen my faith by proving His faithfulness time and time again. He is faithful to His promises.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because without faith we live outside of the truth of God and His word. The Christian life is always lived by faith. We walk by faith, not by sight. It is the only way to live this life. If you believe in God, then you have some measure of faith because you believe in a Person that you can't see and can't touch in the natural world. You believe in the Invisible. But many times, our faith falters, we doubt Him, we doubt His words, we live as if He is not trustworthy.
Without deeper levels of faith, we will never risk. We will never dream. We will not follow Him into the unknown. We will never step out of the boat onto the water and partner with Him to see His kingdom come to earth.
As Christians, God has gifted us with eyes of faith. We get to see God's heart and know His vision for this world in our spirits and then we contend for it in faith as God brings forth His will on earth. We are partners with Him, co-laborers to see His will being done here; on earth as it is in heaven. We cannot do that if we don't have eyes of faith. He is teaching us to live with our eyes focused not on the seen (earth), but on the unseen (heaven). Faith sees what is invisible before it becomes visible. In the kingdom of God, things are happening in the spiritual realm before they happen in the natural world. All good things first come from the heart of God. And because God has given us His Word and the Holy Spirit, we can now know what is on His heart. Our hearts are united with His and His desires become our desires. We become "pregnant" in our spirit with His promises, His desires, and His will and then many times, there is a time of waiting in faith, trusting that He is working in the hidden darkness of the womb. Just as a baby has an appointed time of birth, so our dreams and God's promises will be fulfilled at their appointed time. You cannot rush the birth of a dream any more than you can rush the birth of a baby. It happens as God plans it, in His timing.
Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (Hab. 2:3)
When we receive a promise from God or He plants a dream in our heart, we receive it in faith. But many times, we start looking for evidence in the natural world to prove or disprove God's word to us, and if we don't see any signs of proof we become discouraged and filled with doubt and unbelief. We become focused on the natural; what we can see, feel, measure, and understand. And if we don't see evidence of God working, we reason away our faith.
But faith is believing when you don't see it. It is letting go of our natural reasoning. You don't need faith for something that is clearly evident in the natural.
Faith is only needed for the supernatural.
When we look at things or a situation with natural eyes, only the possible is possible. But when we see it with eyes of faith, all things become possible.
Faith looks to God for the fulfillment of the promise and only to God.
"The strength of our faith is in direct proportion to our level of belief that God will do exactly what He promised. Faith has nothing to do with feelings, impressions, outward appearances, nor the probability or improbability of an event. If we try to couple these things with faith, we are no longer resting on the word of God, because faith is not dependent on them. Faith rests on the pure word of God alone. And when we take Him at His word, our hearts are at peace." (Streams in the desert, L.B. Cowman)
When we stop looking at outward circumstances to support our faith and only look to God, our hearts become resolved and our faith is strengthened. We will trust Him and we will not waiver. We know our God does not lie. He is forever faithful.
"Faith is not a sense, nor sight, nor reason, but simply taking God at His word." -Christmas Evans