Trusting Requires Faith
Trusting Requires Faith
God enables us at all times to believe in His mercy even when we cannot see evidence of it. In Paul’s last letter, 2 Timothy, he challenges Timothy to maintain a life of strong commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the pattern Paul had given Timothy in their many years together, Paul tells Timothy to always be committed to God’s word. 2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. Paul also tells Timothy not to be ashamed of our Lord, but always be prepared to share in His suffering for the gospel. 2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God. Paul then tells Timothy that “you know what I have taught you about faith, love, endurance, and suffering”. Our faith requires action and sometimes this involves suffering. 2 Timothy 3:10–12 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. If we are not good at enduring suffering, what does this indicate about our relationship with God and about our faith?
If we are to demonstrate that we trust God this requires that we are a people of faith. We cannot talk about being a Christian without talking about faith. Christianity was once called “the faith” in its early days. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
The essential part of faith is our personal trust in God. In some ways this trust is much like a couple moving from a dating relationship to the marriage relationship. Marriage signifies a huge step involving trust in and commitment to the other person. Faith in Christ involves both agreeing with the trust of who He is and having a personal trust in Him that leads to a dependent relationship with Him. There is much confusion in our culture about faith. There is the faith that brings us to salvation, and the faith that we exercise throughout our lives with God.
Faith that brings us to salvation is rooted in facts, though we do not presently see Christ or have video evidence of His life, death, and resurrection. Paul tells us that there were 500 witnesses to his resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
John wrote his entire gospel to give a basis for people to put their faith in Jesus. John 20:30–31 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. Scripture reveals to us that we have a sinful nature, hearts that belong to rebel against God. Ephesians 2:3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (And in other passages; Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10)
We have a need of forgiveness of our sins. Our only hope is to put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in what He has accomplished by His death on the cross. This is the faith that brings us to salvation.
Faith that defines us after salvation: growing as a Christian involves allowing the Holy Spirit to indwell our lives in increasing manner. The fruit of the spirit that is referenced in Galatians 5:22-23 will produce the faith that we are talking about. This will also help us to grow and become more like Jesus Christ in our life. This is the faith that sustains us during our suffering: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The Holy Spirit helps us with strength, encouragement and peace during temptations, and adversity. Passages such as Romans 8:17 and Philippians 3:10 provide us with a description of this faith helping us to become more like Jesus Christ. This is the faith that produces hope during times of adversity and temptation.
How has your faith helped you during times of adversity?