An Attitude of Faith b. Hebrews 11. Change My Attitude .Srm
Sermon Series: Change My Attitude
Sermon Title: Replace An Attitude With An Attitude of Faith
Text: Hebrews 11
Date: September 28, 2008
Sentence: Only when faith replaces doubt in the life of a believer can the joy of knowing God become a reality.
Faith is an attitude. It is Promised Land attitude number four. Each attitude is a pattern of thinking formed over a long period of time. We may decide to change during a crisis, but we actually changed moment by moment in the process of living. Every decision we make contributes in some way to the pattern of thinking that becomes your attitude.
Faith is rooted in a God who is Real. Faith finds itself founded on a person, the creator God of the universe. Faith is active confidence in the God who has revealed Himself, not some uncertainty about a someone, somewhere out in space. God has proven Himself real again and again.
Everyone has faith, the capacity to trust. We don’t stay alive long with it. Where we base our faith on is ultimately what makes the difference The faith I am talking about is the faith that turns away from placing our trust in circumstances or our own abilities. The only way my life will be what God has purposed and designed for us is to place our deepest faith and confidence in a sovereign God.
As we look at Hebrews 11, the writer reminds us that the object of our faith is of eternal significance and value to life. Faith sees beyond the circumstances, disappointments, and failures of life. The vital question is Not Do WE Believe, but Whom do we believe?
Illustration: Faith is an essential element of life, but the faith must be in God. Sir Donald Malcolm Campbell, the British car- and boat-racer and holder of several world speed records, lost his life while racing a fast boat on one of the lakes of Scotland. The boat exploded and rapidly sank. The only thing that ever surfaced was a toy stuffed animal, Campbell’s “good luck charm.” It was powerless to help him in the final and fatal crisis of his life. Faith is only as good as its object is able.
The Past Tense of Faith
Hebrews 11:1 gives us an excellent definition of faith. KJV Read, Hebrews 11:1 NLT 1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
The very first statement is Now faith, it points back to what has already been said. It points to trust. It points to belief. It points back into the previous section. Hebrews 10:35 HCSB 35 So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. Hebrews 10:38 HCSB But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. Hebrews 10:39 HCSB But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.
Faith points back to the past. It is rooted in what God has done. We can have confidence and assurance because God has a good track record for doing what he says he will do. It is strange that we who are so enlightened disregard the Only ONE who has proven dependable.
Notice in Hebrews 1:3 He said the worlds were framed by the Word of God. The word is not logos, which is a reference to Jesus as the Word of God. It is the word rhema, which means utterance or spoken word. God created the world simply by speaking. And God said, Let there be light.
The writer of Hebrews declares that we understand the creation of the universe by faith. We accept and receive this knowledge by faith. We go back to what God has done in the Past and our faith rests there. Faith is not a leap into the dark. It is rooted in the past. Our faith is rooted in the past, and the crown jewel of the past is God’s creation of the earth.
The Present Tense of Faith,
Faith is also evidence. Evidence means proof. We use the expression, Seeing is believing. This is not true. Believe is seeing, Faith is the proof of the thing we cannot see. Hebrews 11:27
In the book of 2 Kings, we read about Elijah and his servant. 2 Kings 6:13-18 HCSB 13 So the king said, “Go and see where he is, so I can send ⌊men⌋ to capture him.” When he was told, “Elisha is in Dothan,” 14 he sent horses, chariots, and a massive army there. They went by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God got up early and went out, he discovered an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. So he asked Elisha, “Oh, my master, what are we to do?” 16 Elisha said, “Don’t be afraid, for those who are with us outnumber those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “Lord, please open his eyes and let him see.” So the Lord opened the servant’s eyes. He looked and saw that the mountain was covered with horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 When the Arameans came against him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Please strike this nation with blindness.” So He struck them with blindness, according to Elisha’s word.
Sometimes we are surrounded by circumstances like that. We are hedged in financially, politically, socially. Whenever we find such as disaster, God says, Just open your eyes. By faith we will see what others cannot see. We will see the chariots and horses of God that He has placed around us to protect us.
Illustration: We are NOT the first group of people to trust God. Psalm 90:1 HCSB 1 A prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, You have been our refuge in every generation. People have been trusting God for thousands of years. This is NOT a foolish thing to do. The faithfulness of God, not just in generations past, but in my own life provides me with evidence.
Open our eyes O Lord to see the unseen, this is what we must do. Now, remember last time we spoke about the doubt of the ten spies. They said yes the land was a land of milk and honey. Yes, the land produced bountiful, nevertheless. Nevertheless, there are giants in the land. Nevertheless there is more of them than us. Nevertheless we are grasshoppers, and they are giants. Open our eyes O God to see the unseen. Open our eyes that I may see glimpses of truth thou hast for me; Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp and set me free.
One of the great tragedies today is that many of us are never aware that God answers prayer. We never have our faith tested. Faith rests on the past and Faith rests on the present. It is for now. It is for today. It is by faith that we receive eternal life, believing, trusting, committing ourselves to God. We receive it NOW.
The Promised Tense of Faith
First of all fath is substance. Most people see faith as something that is ethereal, extremely delicate and light; heavenly or spiritual. Faith has substance.
The word substance is a compound word, or made up of two words. The word under and the word to stand. Put them together and you get the translation to stand under. It refers to a foundation. The foundation upon which our future rest is faith. If we want to own the future, we must realize that the future belongs to those who have faith. Faith is the title deed of the future.
People say the future is uncertain, and to us it is. It is not uncertain to God because it belongs to God. The future is in the hands of God and history is moving according to the plans of God. Our future does not have to be uncertain. It does not have to rest upon our job, our friendships, or even the accumulation of the things needed for material living. Our future rests in the hands of God, and we can have a title deed to the future through faith.
In our spiritual world we take a need before God in prayer. My faith, my active confidence in God is the thing I hold on to while I wait to see how the Lord is going to answer what I have brought before Him. If I have painful circumstance in my life and I am asking God to change that or to change me, my faith is the substance that I hold while I wait upon God to do the things that I have asked God to do. So faith is the substance.
By faith, the elders obtained a witness from God that they were righteous. They believed God and he observed it. He gave them their needs. The writer of Hebrews is saying, Those men back there lived by faith, and NOW it is your turn. You do what they did. It is your time to enter into their labor. It is your times to stand on your own feet and in the Power of God. It is your time to live by faith.
How do we get that kind of faith. Romans 10:17 HCSB 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ. We deposit the Word of God in our Hearts, it will grow faith in our lives. We will respond to him. Faith is like a muscle. As we exercise it, it grows and develops.
Faith is the proof of all the things we cannot see. It confirms all the intangible things we seek. God has for us a wonderful life of blessedness, joy and meaning. It begins with faith. Faith come from willing choice of our hearts. We must choose God. We must choose to exercise faith. We must decide to embark upon a journey of faith.
Father, Thank you for giving me Your Word. Thank You for ordering that the way to You is by Faith. Forgive me for wishing t hat everything about You could be seen and known as a fact. Forgive me for preferring the ways of t his physical world to the spiritual realities that You have chosen to create. Teach me deeper lessons about what it means to walk by faith. Give me spiritual eyes to see this world as You do. Help me to embrace by faith the brevity of life and the nearness of eternity. Give me strength to guide those I love toward faith in You, and help me to be a good example of what it means to really trust You. Lord, my needs are great, but You are a great and faithful God. I pray that You would, by Your Word and through my witness and walk of faith, increase my capacity to rest in and trust You. My goal before you call me home is that others will notice that I am a man or woman of faith. Keep this goal before me, in the precious name of Jesus.