Understanding Faith

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We need only a teeny weeny bit of it, Yet, sometimes we don’t seem to have enough;
It doesn’t just see the obvious but takes hold of the unthinkable;
Sometimes it defies logic yet it’s not blind;
The courageous love it, the weak shun it;
The intellectuals question it, the simple go through with it;
It’s a choice, it’s a gift, it’s all that is needed to walk with Him;
It sees the invisible, believes the unbelievable, and receives the impossible;
It is dead to doubts, dumb to discouragements and blind to impossibilities
It can move mountains but without it, it’s not possible to please God at all".
What Is It??
Yes ! It is Faith
The topic of my Sermon this morning is Faith
What is Faith? – This one is easy, as we are given a definition right from the word of God.
Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1–2 ESV
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation.
This is a complex definition that we need to further explain
The words “Confidence” and “ Assurance” are very complex words that are difficult to translate in English.
“Confidence” – Gr. “Hypostasis” – which actually means the underlying thing or more like a foundation.
Faith is like the foundation on which we build all our hopes.
Another translation of this verse, “In faith things hoped for become a reality”
Oswald Chambers – “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
“Assurance” – Gr. “Elengkhos” – which actually means a legal document which is given as a means of assurance – a deed which is given to us.
Faith is like this deed that is given through which we can see that we haven’t seen so far.
Chronological listing of the OT saints who acted in this Faith.
So what does this Faith look like in our lives? How do we identify if we are walking by Faith, whether we are walking in this Confidence and Assurance?
Here are 3 simple characteristics of this Faith.

Faith Steps out and Never Backs out

Repeat: “Faith is stepping out & not Backing out”
Faith will always put the first step out
Remember the story of Joshua
Joshua 3:9–17 ESV
And Joshua said to the people of Israel, “Come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” And Joshua said, “Here is how you shall know that the living God is among you and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan. Now therefore take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe a man. And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as soon as those bearing the ark had come as far as the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest), the waters coming down from above stood and rose up in a heap very far away, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho. Now the priests bearing the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firmly on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all Israel was passing over on dry ground until all the nation finished passing over the Jordan.
V.8 says God commanded the priests to go and stand in the River
V.15 says, Jordan is at the flood stage during harvest
Who in the right mind would go and stand in the river when it is flooded?
But Faith … Faith always Steps out never backs out
“Faith is confidence in the veracity of what God has said.”
Are we certain of what God has told us …?
Faith always takes the first step …
First Step is always the hardest …
To step into the flood waters, knowing what the outcome will be but believing in God for the otherwise
Matthew 14:22–33 ESV
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
V.29 : Jesus asked Peter to come and he came walking on water.
Many criticize Peter for sinking but the story here is of Faith.
Of Peter walking on water in Faith and when there is trouble Jesus saves Him
“Walking on water has nothing to do with water. It has everything to do with faith and faith has everything to do with hearing God’s voice.”
Both these incidents there is water …. Either it stopped flowing or stopped being what it was supposed to be
When God gives us the word and we step out in faith in obedience, then there is a miracle that happens
Joni Erickson Tada says this about faith “Faith isn’t the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It’s simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step.”
This is from someone who at 17 was in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down
Frequently remind yourself that God is with you and He will take care of you and never fail you and can count upon Him always. That is the one that gives us the confidence and Faith
Repeat : God is with me, He will never fail me, I can count on Him always, He is helping me right now to take the first step
Repeat : I will step out in Faith & not Back out

Faith Breaks out instead of Freaks out

Repeat: “Faith is Breaking out & not freaking out”
Daniel 3: 16 – 18 : The three young men & the Furnace
Daniel 3:16–18 ESV
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
If there was ever a time for them to freak out, it was now
Standing in front of the blazing furnace yet unfazed.
Andrew Murray – “Faith expects from God what is beyond all expectation.”
7 times hot, instant death for anyone who come even near it, yet, their assurance and confidence in God remained unwavered. That is Faith!
Have you heard of the concept of a “Time Machine”?
It has always fascinated me. To be able to go back and forward in time and to be able to tweak it to our benefit. I liked such movies like – Back to the Future, etc. –
Why are we fascinated with Time Machine?
The reason is we don’t like the thought that there is one thing that we cannot actually control, the one thing that keeps slipping out of our very grasp and something that we cannot reverse – Time
Why do we get stressed, disappointed, discouraged and depressed?
Because there are somethings that are out of our control and the outside factors play a role on our emotional status. Instantaneous results
“Depression is the emotional result of hopelessness. Joy is the emotional result of hope. Peace is the emotional result of faith.”
Breaking out of the rut, breaking out of the stress, breaking out of bondage, breaking out of diseases, breaking out of the normal and grabbing hold of the supernatural.
“Doubt sees what currently is and no more. Hope sees what can be but is not yet. Faith sees what will be as if it were now.”
Ezekiel 37:4 ESV
Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
Repeat: God is in control of my tomorrow, my work, my family. I shall not be fazed
Repeat: I will break out in Faith & not Freak out

Faith Reaches out and Never Sits out

Repeat : “Faith is Reaching out and not Sitting out”
He always reached out to people who hardly knew Him
Jesus said, “I came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
When He left this earth, He left us with the charge and the mission to follow His example of reaching and ministering to lost people.
To accomplish this, He has gifted every one of us with gifts and abilities that enable us to engage in ministry to others.
I Corinthians 12:9 – the gift of Faith
1 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
… is given to the church not only for the edification of the church but for the extension of His Kingdom.
Romans 10:14 - How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
Romans 10:14 ESV
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
The word for believe is the same word for Faith in the Greek
So how can they have Faith unless someone tells them
Faith is Reaching out to people and telling them to in turn have faith in Jesus.
Matthew 14:31 – Jesus reached out a sinking Peter and pulls him out
Matthew 14:31 ESV
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
This is the ministry that we are called to have in faith today … to reach out to the people who are sinking and bring them into the fullness of life in Jesus, bring them into the Joyous relationship with the Father.
A Faith that doesn’t reach out is stagnant and the result is a stunted growth”
Sharing our Faith with others comes out of our bubbling love for the Lord. How can I stop sharing the Love that gave its everything for me?
"The task is not to get God to do something I think needs done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can participate in it."
God is indeed doing something here, Are we ready to participate in Faith?
Repeat: I love Jesus with all my heart, I know that He is with me and I will not Sit back
Repeat: I will reach out in Faith and not sit out
When we look at the heroes of the bible they didn’t always get it right. Abraham tried to give away his wife to Pharaoh. Moses struck a rock in anger. David committed adultery. Peter denied Jesus. All of the disciples except one deserted Jesus at the cross. Paul started out by killing Christian. But none of their mistakes disqualified them from doing great things for God.
We are going to make mistakes in life. We don’t have to be perfect in order to say yes, just willing and available to God. God is looking for more than your ability, He ‘s looking for your availability.
Hudson Taylor – to China – the ship neared the channel between the southern Malay Peninsula and the island of Sumatra – Captain said, No wind – the island people are heathen and cannibals – I know that you believe in God – can u pray for wind – Hudson Taylor said – yes, I will but you must set the sail – Cap said, that’s ridiculous, people will call me crazy & mad – but with insistence, he did and 45 min later he came back – Taylor still on his knees praying – Ok you can stop praying now, we have more wind than we know what to do with
This is the kind of Faith that God is looking at.
People may say it’s a bad idea, logical derivations may conclude that this is not the path to be taken, but when God says, “Come, step out into the water, step out of your comfort zone and follow me” – do we need another Assurance or confidence?
God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
"Instead of praying for God to take our problems away, Let’s pray only for God to give me the strength and the Faith to go through them."
Jesus is our Supreme Example of this. He reached out to people always.
He was always about lost people. Everything Jesus did reached out to the unchurched. He was always around people who needed help.
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