We hear in church about living out our faith. Or when we’re going through hard times or a trial, uncertain about our future, sometimes people will tell us to; just have faith. As believers, we tend to think we are to somehow, automatically know how to do this. But what does this look like in our lives? How do we live out our faith? Scripture tells us that;
“And without faith, it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
What is Faith?
So let’s break this down and ask, what is faith? To answer this, we’ll look at 2 passages of scripture as well as a few people that are examples of faith.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Jesus said to him, “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen, and have yet believed.” (John 20:29)
Faith is believing in something that you can’t see, you can only believe by faith to trust in it. I’ve heard somewhere and think it’s a good analogy, that believing in God is much like believing in the wind. We can’t see the wind, but we can see and feel its effect on us. In the same way, we can’t see God however, we do see and feel His effect on us and those around us, as He works in our lives.
Examples of Faith
When I’m having a hard time with a biblical concept or just need a little help in applying God’s precepts to my life, I often look at people in the Bible to see what it looked like in their life. Hebrews 11 is full of examples of those who lived by faith. Therefore rightly named, The Hall of Faith. So let’s look at a few of them.
First, there's Abraham, who had tremendous faith when he brought Isaac to the mountain to be sacrificed. Imagine taking your son, the one you had waited so long for, up a mountain to sacrifice him to God. Abraham was able to do this because he knew that God had given him Isaac and that God would keep his promise for Abraham to be the father of a nation. He didn’t know exactly how this all would play out, but he trusted that God had a plan and He did.
Next is Sarah, who had faith to conceive a child in her old age. Now, I think it’s important to point out, that when Sarah was first told that she would have a child so late in life, she laughed. Showing that her faith did waver a bit, as ours will do at times as well. Thankfully when it does, we can go to God in prayer and to His Word for a boost of faith.
You may be thinking, oh these are strong followers of God, I could never have faith like them, my life has been riddled with sin, God is not going to do for me what He does for others. Well then, let’s take a look at Rahab, who is also written in the hall of faith. She was a prostitute from Jericho, she had faith to help the spies that Joshua sent to the city and because of that, she and her family were saved from the battle. Speaking of Joshua, I think he should be included as there are several examples in scripture where he stepped out in faith, at times against all odds and the consensus of the people.
Who or what do you currently have your faith in?
A good way to determine this is; when you make decisions in your life, who do you turn to, and what is most important to you? We can put our faith in a variety of things. What we have our faith in will shape our decision-making and therefore shape our lives. Many put their faith in their finances and will put obtaining it or keeping it, above all else, believing it will bring them security. Others will put their faith in their intelligence, believing that they are smarter than everyone else, including God. They think they know what is best for themselves and oftentimes for everyone else around them. We can also put our faith in our spouse or someone close to us that we follow, believing that they have all the right answers to life's questions.
As believers, we would quickly say that our faith is in God, but do our lives reflect that? Do we go to God for direction and make decisions based on the precepts in His Word and allow Him to shape our lives? I realize this is so much easier said than done however, this is how we live out our faith. Believing God, believing His Word is true and trusting Him to guide and direct our life, wherever it may lead.
A good way to determine this is; when you make decisions in your life, who do you turn to, and what is most important to you?
That being said, according to Hebrews 11:6, our next step is to diligently seek Him. How can we possibly know God, follow His precepts, and believe in His promises, if we have not studied His Word? Here’s what God says on the subject.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Plan Time With The Father
I find the best way to accomplish this is to set aside a particular time of day to spend with God. Since I need to be at work at 7 a.m., I currently get up at 5 a.m. for my devotions. This may make me sound a bit godly, but trust me, I’ve struggled with this just as much as everyone else has.
I didn’t want to get up that early, so I tried having a short devotion during my morning break at work. Which lasted only a handful of times before I was too busy to even take a break. Then I tried doing it at lunch which lasted a little longer, however after 5 hours of mental exertion, I just wanted to shut my brain off for a while.
Then someone else mentioned that they get up early for devotions, so I thought okay, why not give it a try. As it turns out, I love it! Now, instead of getting up and heading straight for the shower and another day of the same boring routine. I get up, grab a cup of coffee, sit in my comfy chair in my pj's to spend time with my Heavenly Father. It is a great way to start the day and I’m never disappointed or sorry that I did it.
We all have countless distractions in our lives and rest assured, as soon as you decide to spend time with the Father, Satan will bring more your way, but let me encourage you to persevere. Set aside the same time every day and if possible, have it coincide with something else that you do daily, this will help you to remember to do it. Maybe during breakfast or after you drop off the kids at school. If mornings are too hectic, try setting aside time in the evening after putting the kids to bed and the house is a bit quieter. You can even set an alarm on your phone or watch to remind you until it becomes a habit.
This time can be spent doing any number of things. The most obvious is reading your Bible however, even that can be done in a variety of ways. You can choose a book of the Bible to go through, a topical study to research, or one of my favorites, read the Bible in chronological order. This is super helpful in putting all the stories together that we’ve heard over the years. And for gaining a clearer understanding of the scriptures as a whole. You can also choose to spend this time in prayer, writing in a journal, working through a bible study, reading a Christian book, or any combination thereof, the choice is yours.
God is Faithful!
Lastly, we are to believe that God is faithful and rewards those who diligently seek Him. Even His command to know and meditate on His Word comes with a promise, “For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
Knowing the Word of God, having faith to believe in God and His faithfulness, then to live every day according to the direction and promises that He has given us. Basically, taking everything written in our bibles and applying it to our lives, is how we live out our faith. When we do this, it frees us to step out in faith. To boldly try new things and seek where God may want to lead us next. It may be to go for that promotion at work, go back to school, start your own business, or a new career. God may lead you to step out of your comfort zone to teach a bible study, lead a Sunday school class, or get involved in a ministry. The possibilities are endless. I like to think of these possibilities as doors to try to see if God has opened them, but this is a topic for another day. For now, let’s focus on getting to know God better by studying His Word and living out our faith every day.
Faith Lived Out
So, how can we apply this to our lives and live out our faith?
Take some time to think about who or what you currently have your faith in? What shapes your decisions? If it’s not God, ask Him to help you determine what it is and to increase your faith in Him.
Find time to be in the Word, every day. Even if it’s only for 10 to 15 minutes, it will make a world of difference.
Are you struggling with a situation right now, search the Scriptures for a promise or a Word of truth from your Heavenly Father that you need to believe in right now and ask Him to help your unbelief.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.