WHAT IS FAITH?
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1).
God is not the Church’s “Sugar Daddy”. The term “Sugar Daddy” is a label given to an old man, who showers a young woman with money and gifts to keep her satisfied with him! In other words, the old man buys the attention of the young woman. In many cases, the young woman is in this relationship for what luxuries she can drain from her “Sugar Daddy.” Oftentimes, the young woman has another man who is equal to her own age and stamina to engage herself. The young woman gives the old man a small portion of her time to make him feel that she belongs to him alone. As a reward to the young woman, the old man gives her money and gifts and his love. Sadly, sometimes the old man knows the young woman is unfaithful and is using him for her personal gain. This is how so many Christians approach God! They come to church and clap their hands and whisper “Amen” under their breath. These faithless people are taught, “When praises go up, blessings come down”. This is a recipe for hypocrites. Most of the time the things people are hoping for are not in the will of God anyway! They have no real concept of “Faith” in God, only desires to have things to please their flesh. Unlike the “Sugar Daddy”, the Lord God will not bend his will to please our flesh, but the Christian, in faith, must surrender their will to please God.
The Church does not dictate to God; and it is high time someone said that out loud! God is the way-maker and the miracle worker and the burden bearer, not Pastor So and So or Deacon This and That! “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.” (Ps. 146.3). God does the leading and we are called to follow his will, by faith. It does not matter how impossible the situation appears to be; or how painful the circumstances are, we are called to trust and have faith in God’s power, knowledge and guidance. Faith in God does not require God to answer the why and how. There are no church jingles or recited words, that will interrupt God’s will and purpose in our life’s circumstances. Pastor So and So, no matter how beloved he or she is, must operate in faith to receive leadership guidance. Pastor So and So must be a champion of faith, one who will seek God’s will and act upon it in faith. Regardless of what the congregation or the church board deems what is right. Even if faith brings one to build an ark in the 21st century, then by faith build an ark!
What is Faith? First, it is believing that God is real and he is able to do what he said in his word. It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it ahead. Now I must make this point clear, every desire is not in God’s will. Our hopes should be based on the principles of God, not the world’s principles. We should not be hoping for lustful things that will lead us to damnation. The heart of the righteous will seek godly things. “Every good gift and every prefect gift are from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with who is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17). God does not contradict his word!
Therefore, we must learn God’s word and understand how we should pray and what we should hope for. Sometimes we pray for healing, and yes healing is in God’s will. However, if we are to go to heaven, we must all give up this imperfect earthen vessel to be resurrected and clothed for heaven. Children of God, we will not live forever in this life! We all have an appointed time to depart from this life on earth. As painful as the departure of our loved ones is, death is a necessary component to salvation or damnation. Even then, faith states: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away”. (Rev. 21:4). Even though we suffer much pain in this life, it is written, joy will come in the morning! We must have faith in God’s promises to us and there are many promises!
The saints in the Old Testament were famous for their faith. Their faith in God is the reason God could use them to perform great works that are recorded in the Holy Bible. In the book of Genesis, Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave his home and go far away to another land which God promised to give him, Abraham obeyed. Away, he went, not even knowing where he was going. Sarah, too, had faith and because of this she was able to become a mother, despite her old age, for she realized that God, who gave her his promise, would certainly do what he said. Noah was another who trusted in God. When he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Faith is acting upon God’s word even though the conditions look impossible. Continuing to offer God praise when others believe you should give up on God. Faith is having the God given ability to laugh when your whole world is falling apart, and say “Thank you Lord for your grace and mercy”. Faith is displaying hope when everything seems hopeless.
In times likes these we need to demonstrate our faith in God so that the world will look up to God again. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee with not slumber.” (Ps. 121:1-3). God will not render any work to those who do not have faith in him. He is not your “Sugar Daddy”. Yes, God is old, how old I don’t know, but he will never purchase love for your cheap affection of praise. He purchased us because HE FIRST LOVED US! He wants us to love him in spirit and in truth. He offers his love through his son Jesus Christ as a gift to only those who believe in him and are faithful. God is not enticed by swerving lips of praise and contrary hearts. God is a God of Truth and Righteousness. Jehovah God demands us to be righteous and to exhibit a walk of faith, despite our circumstances. I always say, “I have no doubt that God will perform a miracle. I just love to see the way he does it!” All glory and praise to THE GREAT I AM. Amen.
For the record, this is written for those who are standing on the promises of God. God bless you and amen.
Written by Reverend Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor