The Different Ways We Use The Word Faith
I’m reading through the Bible again this year and am well into the book of Exodus. Before turning our attention to Exodus, let’s take a look back at Genesis. I’d like to revisit four of the main characters in Genesis – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Their stories are wonderful stories that teach about walking with God. One characteristic these men share that is quite practical is they all had faith in God. Over the next few posts we’re going to see what we can learn about trusting God from these men.
Faith is a term that we often use as Christians. Depending upon the context, there are four different ways we use it.
- We use it as a verb to describe the action of trusting or confidently believing in something unseen, that hasn’t happened yet Hebrews 11:1,6.
- We use it as a noun to describe the conduct or work in our lives because of trust in God. James says our works demonstrate our faith James 2:14-26.
- We also use it as a noun to describe the body of truth accepted by the Christian community. Paul is described as preaching the faith in Galatians 1:23.
- We use it as an adjective. It describes those who are trustworthy or faithful Romans 3:3.
Our focus is going to be on the first usage, faith as an action of personal trust. The definition the Bible gives us is from Hebrews 11:1 (see above). From this verse and all of Hebrews 11 we can see four things about faith.
- It’s directed to God.
- It has an element of confidence. It’s an assurance and a conviction.
- It’s based upon hope.
- It has an unseen element to it.
Let me add one other important perspective on faith.
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
This verse elevates the importance of faith for all who want to please God.
My guess is you’d like to please God today. I want to! Okay, let’s consider right now how we can trust God today? Think of something that hasn’t happened, that you hope will happen and have confidence God can bring it to pass. Trust God to bring it to pass today. Give it a try. It’s worth the effort. God thinks so.