Because I Gotta Have Faith. | Blog | Mount Carmel Christian Church

Because I Gotta Have Faith.

December 31, 2020 | Timothy Peace

"Now, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith, our ancestors received approval. By faith, we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible." - Hebrews 11:1–3

This is how Hebrews introduces readers to a chapter filled with brief mentions of individuals who exhibited faith and who were accredited as righteous by God because of their faith. 
 
What sorts of deeds did these faithful do to receive such accreditation?
 
One gave an acceptable offering to God (which spurned his brother toward jealous rage and murder).
 
One just walked with God daily (whatever that means).
 
Another moved, and his wife, who is also a mention of faithfulness, had a baby. 
 
None of this is extraordinary. None of it inspires one to some marvelous adventure.
 
Still, though, some of the mentions contain more bombastic acts of faith: building an ark, willingness to sacrifice a child (parents don't do this, even if they make you want to sometimes).
 
One thing about these displays of faith is common: they are all action-oriented. 
 
Not a single one of these people is credited with faith for checking the right answers on a theology quiz. None are heroic by any stretch of the imagination, even though this chapter is often dubbed the "hall of heroes of the faith." 
 
The only hero of faith in scripture is Jesus. 
 
The rest of those who perform acts of faith also have those acts offset by abject failures: for instance, Abraham lies about his relationship with his wife, Noah gets wasted following his exit from the ark, Moses commits murder and fails to lead the Israelites well in the wilderness, and David, the "man after God's heart," commits both adultery and murder — I could go on, but you get the point. 
 
What's the point?
 
Well, we often get "faith" all wrong. 
 
Faith isn't having all the right answers all the time. It's certainly not about perfection because none of us and none of the so-called "heroes" are or were perfect.
 
Instead, faith is, like love in the old DC Talk song, a verb. Faith is the unseen that propels what is seen. The person who has faith walks by and acts in faith. 
 
We can all claim to love people but live like we don't. Likewise, we can all claim to have faith and live like we don't. Therefore, we're all capable of living loveless and faithless lives just as much as we are capable of living by love and faith. 
 
Since it's the start of a new year, let me give you some inspiration: your life is not a story where you are the central character. It is, instead, a vanishing mist. As the book of Ecclesiastes astutely observes, our lives have no meaning apart from God. Likewise, when our actions fail to be rooted in faith, they have no lasting impact other than our deviance's repercussions (which can be really bad). 
 
Why does the author of Hebrews define faith the way they do? Simple: faith lives on, and faithlessness dies with those it leads to death.
 
In 2021 don't plan to become whatever version of "great" some self-help guru or your mom said you can be. Instead, commit to living out faith each day. 
 
Why live out faith, you ask? 
 
Because daily, seemingly insignificant yet very significant acts of faith outlast the crises of the moments we find ourselves in. 
 

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