Chapter Two: What Faith Means...and What It Doesn't
We live in a world that is consumed with “What’s in it for me?”
It’s the “Selfie” age!
We now talk to our phones, and they talk back and instruct us.
They give us point-by-point directions.
They make suggestions on where to eat.
They even remind us of our appointments and when to wake up.
We think we can apply this to our relationship with our Savior.
We treat God like He is a Drive-thru.
“Thank you for choosing Heaven, this is JC, what can I help you with today?”
“Yeh, I’d like a #2 to go, but no extra praying, no fasting, and definitely no waiting for a long period—I need this quick, and I need this now!”
And we wait—for a minute.
For our faith to impress God enough—that our answer rains down from Heaven…right into our praying hands, just like we expected, just like we ordered…when we ordered God to get it for us NOW!
This book is intended to explain what faith means..and what it doesn’t!
Faith is NOT:
Blab it and grab it.
Name it and claim it.
Wish it and dish it.
See it and be it!
Substance of things hoped for
And the evidence of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1
Two words stick out:
Substance and Evidence
First –Substance is the compilation of several things- when you break down a substance, you find all of the components that are part of the substance and that went into making the substance—it takes a lot of ingredients to create the substance that brings about the things hoped for.
For example: Your needs, your dreams, you must haves, you wish you hads.
All of that is part of the substance.
And each component plays an important part in creating your hope.
That "substance" is the different, seemingly unconnected threads God sews into our life--we cannot see the masterpiece He is creating with all of these threads until one day, God reveals His handiwork in creating a masterpiece in you!
They say that cotton is the fabric of our lives-
But I maintain that is the substance God weaves in and out of our hearts through lessons, each meant to build our faith, that are, in fact...
The fabric of our lives!
Second-Evidence is the proof that what we just stated exists. It confirms our findings; it establishes our credibility. Evidence shuts up the naysayer and quiets the unbeliever who want to challenge how can we believe if we cannot see?
To those naysayers and unbelievers, I reference the scripture that speaks about the wind.
John chapter 3:8 KJV states:
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
We cannot see the wind, but we certainly see the effects of the wind!
So... in order to have faith, you need substance and you need evidence.
And you need to work a little.
Faith IS about spiritually putting in some elbow grease and…working your dream!
It takes work to establish faith in your life.
It takes determination to see the evidence of faith.
It takes persistence to produce the substance of faith.
It takes assiduity(StickToItness) to emulate the life of faith.
I am writing this because of the misconception over what faith is…
In my experience, it’s not a wish list or a “command ye me” ultimatum you give God.
I know there are a lot of wonderful examples of men and women of Faith.
Hebrews chapter 11 is called the Faithful Hall of Fame.
It includes Rahab—the harlot!
How did she make it on the list?
Because she was available to help when help was needed.
And then there’s Enoch—he never died—he walked with God and went up!
Went up? Yep—he suddenly got transferred from Earth to Heaven!
That is true-that is documented- that is Cool!
And what about Noah?
Did you know that it had NEVER rained before the flood?
Nope—it misted each morning, providing enough water for the plants.
But it had NEVER rained before!
And God told Noah to build an Ark.
Hmmm? For what? Noah had never seen rain before in his entire life.
Romans 4:16 says “Calling those things that be not, as though they were!”
That definitely applies in Noah’s case—building an ark for a flood of rain!
And he had NEVER seen rain!
That took Faith!
And lastly, what about Sarah, Abraham’s wife?
She was 90 years old and had NEVER conceived a child.
And yet, suddenly… she was pregnant with Isaac, which means “she laughed” because that’s exactly what she did when she found out!
Hebrews 11:6 says “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him!"
Do we even know what that means?
No just a “one-two bless me” prayer and expect the results to rain down.
Diligence is that spiritual elbow grease I spoke of.
Faith is NOT for the faint of heart!
If, in the Garden of Gethsemane, right before they took Him…
If... Jesus himself begged God to come up with some other plan…but then relented and said the words that changed our future “nevertheless”- we need to learn from Jesus…and trust God for His plan for our lives.
Today, people in pulpits are teaching those listening to:
Have your checklist of what you need…
Go to God in prayer with your “I need2haves”
And expect Him to just Poof!—here you are! Answered Prayer!
And then you go on your merry way—living your life as you please.
Bet I know at least one of the two parties in that scenario who is NOT pleased!
Sometimes, faith is not getting what you asked for…
it’s trusting that what you got was exactly what you needed- for the moment!
For the moment? - Remember God deals in installments!
What is right for now…may change in a minute…and then-
He provides what is right for a minute from now.
It’s HIS plan that matters—He can seem to change course throughout.
He is the Captain of your ship—He knows where HE is taking you!
Faith is... trusting that what you received IS your answered prayer!
Even when—it’s not what you prayed for!
I want you to take a moment, clear your mind, and let what I am about to say just sink in, resonate, permeate, recalibrate your view of faith.
Are you ready?
Faith is this…
When you have reached the end of all you know to do… and are about to step out into the unknown...
Faith is knowing that when you take your very next step,
One of two things will happen:
You will either step out on concrete or…
You will learn to fly!
Because…one thing will NOT happen--
He will NOT let you fail; He will NOT let you fall!
Just stop…and let that sink in.
That is definitely what faith is…and NOT what it is not!
But you have to apply this to your heart—
He will NOT let you fail and He will NOT let you fall!
Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper and to have an expected end!”
God’s wants you to prosper as your soul prospers.
That’s not just about money; it’s about mental well-being and spiritual maturity.
God knows your expected end—nothing just happens with God.
His plans for you are there!
But… you gotta have Faith!