“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Everybody has faith in something. We have faith that the food we eat will nourish the body, or we have faith that we will reach our destination when we set out on a drive. These are reasonable assumptions, but not always true. Much of the food we eat has been filled with additives, hormones, and preservatives and doesn’t nourish us the way God intended. Sometimes when we head to the store or a friend’s house, things can stop us from reaching our destination. A flat tire or a wreck can change our plans. Still we have faith.
What about unseen things?
Many people deny God because they cannot see Him. People put faith in many things that are unseen, but we don’t doubt their existence. Have you ever blown up a balloon? I’ve never seen the air that inflates it, but I know for a fact that when I blow into the opening, the balloon will get bigger. I’m looking out my window right now and watching the trees sway in the breeze. I can’t see the breeze, just the effect of the breeze. The one that really astounds me is the people who get into an airplane and have the faith that something unseen will hold the plane and all the people in it thousands of feet off the ground. Yet, putting faith in the God of all creation is unthinkable.
Of all the unseen things that surround us, the most important is faith in God. The effects of His existence are everywhere.
In times of trouble, our faith can be sorely tested. We either turn to God or turn from Him. Satan is waiting for those who despair, and he tries to stop us from having faith that God hasn’t forsaken us. If you’re a Christian, then Satan cannot utterly destroy you, but he certainly can destroy the witness you have. Christians need to live life in such a way that it’s a habit to trust God and live to please Him, not the world.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:5-6).
The word “conversation” means your way of life. Our way of life needs to reflect Jesus. This world is ruled by Satan, but Jesus Christ overcame the world. Instead of living so that you reflect Satan, live so that your life is a reflection of Jesus Christ. No matter what we face in life, Jesus is our strength, and we need to keep our faith firmly planted in Him. Our faith may be tested, but if you don’t allow the world to confuse you, you will stand firm upon His word.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3).
That’s the perfect place to begin examining your faith. Do you believe that in the beginning there was nothing and it exploded to become everything? If that’s where your faith lies, then you have no faith in God. Genesis tells us that God created everything, and John gives us a bit more information.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).
The Word is Jesus Christ, and that’s where you need to place your faith. He was in the beginning and will be with us to the end and throughout eternity.
Scripture is filled with examples of men and women who trusted and obeyed God, even when they didn’t understand His reasons. We can learn from their examples of faith. We learn that Enoch was 65 years old when he began to walk with God. He walked with Him for 300 years, but he didn’t die.
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).
Enoch was raptured prior to God’s judgment by the Flood. Enoch’s faith was passed to his children and grandchildren. That’s a wonderful legacy to pass to the next generation. Because of Enoch’s example of faith, Noah believed God when He said He was going to send a flood as a judgment on all creation. God instructed Noah to build an Ark. Because Noah had faith, he obeyed. That Ark carried him and his family safely through the Flood.
God’s judgments will soon come upon the world, but, like Enoch, Christians will be Raptured prior to God’s judgments.
Abraham was another man who learned to have faith in God. He was very happy living in the idol-worshiping society which surrounded him. Then, he heard God’s voice and his life changed. Because of his faith, we have the blessing of the Nation of Israel and the Messiah who was born from that nation. We can also look at Mary’s faith. She was a virgin, but by faith she submitted to God and gave birth to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We need to trust Him more and have faith in His truth.
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Don’t put your faith in fallible man but put your faith in the infallible God of all creation. He is unseen to the non-believer’s eye, but Christians see Him everywhere.
Today there’s an unseen organism that has virtually brought the entire world to a standstill. It has stopped people from going to work, interacting with other people, attending worship services, going to school, and many more activities that we took for granted a few short weeks ago. The news media can talk of little else than the latest celebrity who has tested positive for coronavirus, or how many have died. Don’t forget, it’s not news when people survive, so that’s never reported. This virus is very much like Satan. He is unseen but a very real enemy to all of mankind. Satan thrives on fear, and his purpose is to separate people from God and destroy them. If he can compromise your faith, then he has won a battle. God won the war at the cross, but Satan won’t admit defeat.
Brothers and sisters, we need to keep our faith firmly set in Jesus.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Everyone is beset by troubles, and this coronavirus is affecting Christian and non-Christian alike. The difference is that no matter what is in our future, faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes an eternal difference.
Christians need have no fear of death. This pandemic didn’t take God by surprise. Most people, even those who claim to be Christians, ignore God unless there’s a great need. Stop ignoring Him and put your faith in Him. God isn’t a “fair weather friend” who is only with you in the good times. He’s with you in the good times and the bad.
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).
Don’t allow fear to rule your life. Be cautious. Wash your hands, cover your sneezes and coughs, eat healthy. Above all, keep your faith in Jesus Christ.
God bless you all,
Ron and Nathele Graham’s previous commentaries archived at https://www.raptureready.com/featured/graham/graham.html
All original scripture is “theopneustos”— God breathed.
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