Many people are willing to give their life for what they believe in. Take, for example, soldiers who fight for their country. Every year, Americans celebrate Memorial Day as an opportunity to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have sacrificed their life for freedom and liberty. Although we do not know for sure the individual motivation of each one’s sacrifice, we assume that the meaning behind the mission, the opinion behind the operation, or simply the duty behind the demand to fight provoked them to action. The same can be said for Christians who believe in Faith, Hope, Love, and all that Jesus Christ taught. If you believe that you are saved by God’s Grace through Jesus Christ…you will not want to spend the bulk of your energy being religious or the majority of your effort trying to be good enough to try and “appease” God’s anger at you for sinning. If you are saved by God’s Grace through Jesus Christ you will want to spend the majority of your time promoting the Gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ.
I believe the Gospel is summarized in these three words…Faith, Hope, Love.
“Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love-but the greatest of these is love”
The writer of 1 Corinthians 13:13 penned; “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love-but the greatest of these is love” (CSV). Faith is the first element in the triad of New Testament theology concerning the change that is made in us when we are saved. The believer’s relationship with God begins with Faith…Faith in Jesus Christ as God’s sacrifice and atonement for human sins. That initial “saving faith” that kick-starts our relationship with Jesus is all or nothing, it is broad, wide, and deep. It is all-encompassing and reckless. To use a poker-term, when we put faith in Christ to save us we go “all-in,” believing faith is all that is required to be forgiven. That is just how you do it when you truly believe in something and it demonstrates that you have been changed by it.
Three things distinguish you as a follower of Christ and the first one is faith. Faith is the spiritual part of our redeemed life. Unless you developed an overly trusting personality as a child you probably have never been very inclined to place much faith in others. You, no doubt, have been let down and disappointed your share of times and still carry scars of hurt, and maybe even bitterness, and learned to be skeptical of some people. As a result, being willing to trust Christ with your heart, soul, family, job, health, and eternal life was not second-nature by any means.
"Faith is not only BELIEVING IN God…Faith is TRUSTING God and trusting in someone or something outside ourselves is neither immediate nor natural." - Dr. Hughes
Faith is not natural for the unbeliever but faith is very natural for the believer. As “Hope” is the “desires and feelings” part of our redeemed life and “Love” is the “consideration of others” part, Faith is the spiritual component. Faith is not only BELIEVING IN God…Faith is TRUSTING God and trusting in someone or something outside ourselves is neither immediate nor natural. Trusting, relying on, gaining strength from and connecting with someone or something outside ourselves is spiritual. Too often, the “connection” part of faith is what is most difficult for people.
Growing up, I wanted dad to buy me a truck when I turned sixteen. We talked about it and even visited a couple of local dealerships to look around. We found one I really liked. It was a great price I thought and I almost begged dad to buy it for me. I promised him all sorts of things including getting a job and making the monthly payments myself. When I didn’t get the truck I thought about it. I never once questioned whether or not my dad could afford to buy it. I knew he could. I questioned whether or not he would be willing to buy it for me. You see, that is the struggle we almost always have with faith in God. We hardly exert any effort to believe in Him. I mean, look around… there is a lot of evidence that He exists. The challenge has to do with the uncertainty we have about our relationship with God and where we stand with him. We question the connection. Faith reveals a real connection between God and the believer that serves as a witness to the world that salvation works.
In Jesus’ day, miracles, signs, and wonderful displays were the primary proofs that Jesus was who He claimed to be. Now, it is the passionate way believers display the change in our life brought about by salvation that points to Jesus as savior of the world. The difference is, faith is not physical. Faith is spiritual. Faith is not natural. Faith is supernatural. Faith in God and Trusting in God is like the father holding firmly to his daughter’s hand, walking in the snow-storm. She cannot see a thing but she feels her dad’s hand leading her along. Other people don’t’ need to see her daddy to know her daddy is there. They don’t need to see her daddy to know her daddy is leading her. Others can see all of that just by watching her follow him.
Dr. Wiley Hughes
D.Min., Psy.D., FBPPCA, NCC
Apostolic Leader of Destiny Now