who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be. And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
The Bible points us to Abraham and how he believed God, as an example on how to have faith and overcome our unbelief. We are promised that if we do the same, that the same results that Abraham got are freely available to us!
Abraham’s faith was:
- not just a mental hope, not just a wish but a deep rooted expectation that God would deliver
- an action resulting from hearing God speak (strong faith rises up from hearing God’s Word)
- not reliant on physical senses to validate it
- without doubt, it did not waiver
- always praising God for the answer
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We see in Hebrews that faith is the substance of things hoped for. Hope is the beginning of faith, hope needs to rise up within us, where we can see the desired results in our imaginations, even before they manifest in the physical. Faith is the bridging of the spiritual into the natural. God is Spirit and His promised are true in the Spirit. We as believers, bridge the true promises of God from the spiritual into the natural and give them substance by faith! We have an important part to play in God’s operation on the earth.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
Faith acts, it was by faith that Abraham and Sarah where able to move country and conceive a child long after it was biologically possible. They both heard God’s voice and took steps of obedience in faith. We need to have the same attitude, even when our natural eyes and natural minds would tell us that it makes no sense.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Praise God he gives to each of us the measure of faith, so that we all start with the same potential. God does not play favorites, He gives to all equally. As born-again believers, we have Jesus living inside us and we live our lives by His faith operating in us.
Romans 12:3 (KJV)
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
For there is no partiality with God.
Faith is a bit like a physical muscle. All healthy human beings are born with the same number of muscles in their body. Some go on to become great athletes, excising and growing their muscles to perform great things. Others don’t use their muscles at all and are therefore weak and unable to walk far or lift heavy things. Both types of people have the same number of muscles but one has used them and the other has not, one has strong muscles and the other does not.
This is the difference between little faith and great faith, how much we exercise it. We need to continually use our faith, so that it grows in effectiveness and we will see great things!