The definition of faith is clear. It's confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. More than that though, it's our identity. Our is faith is who we are. Everyone puts their faith in something and it's that faith in something that defines you. Of all things, I could put my faith in, I'm glad it's in the One who is always faithful.
I've been studying the book of Hebrews, which is one faith-filled book! As the Lord's Word always does, it got me thinking about the strength of my faith. Some have called chapter 11, the "hall of fame" of the Bible. Rightly so, I guess, but I would venture to call it the "hall of God's faithfulness". It's the story of what God did through normal people, like you and me. I often wonder if my name would be among those listed in this famous chapter. Not so that I would receive glory, rather that my life would be a life lived in surrendering obedience to God. As I read the names, I am captured by their legacy. They are not remembered for their mistakes or misjudgments, but by their actions toward the one in whom their identity comes from.
When we know who we are and where we come from, we behave differently. There is a new found purpose and passion. It's the hope that sets us apart. And because we are confident about who our Creator is; we can approach his throne boldly! When our faith in God becomes who are we, there is no longer a separation of identities. You can't be one way here and another way there. You're all in! That's what pleases God. Without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) Additionally, faith without action is dead. (James 2:17)
Having authentic faith isn't about having it all together, quite the opposite in fact! It's about letting others see God's faithfulness in our imperfections. He chooses you time and time again to work out His Will. That's why our lives are a testimony to his greatness. We need each other because our faith is built stronger when we see other people's actions of faith. That's why chapter 11 exists, to strengthen our faith with the legacy of others. As our faith grows, our identity grows and our confidence grows. As our confidence grows, our actions become more pleasing to God! That's a cycle I want to be a part of! Come with me!
Finally, let me encourage you to attend the GEM Conference at First Assembly on March 21st. GEM stands for God Enriching Moments and it will deliver one of those, for this I am sure. As you continue to walk in faith, discovering your true identity, I pray that you would savor the God Enriching Moments in your life. And as you do, your faith with grow!
Until the whole world hears,