by Gerry Bloemendaal
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About Faith - “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Heb 11:1)
Do you ever wish that you were born to have great faith, to have a faith like Martin Luther King, Bishop Desmond Tutu or mother Teresa for that matter. You do? Well have I got some great news for you. Anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ has the potential for such a great and active belief life, a faith which will produce beautiful fruits for the soul who keeps it and of course for the Lord who reaps it.
Indeed a believing commitment in Jesus Christ could be called the cornerstone of our belief system. Without faith we are but empty shells and will be unlikely to be drawn into a happy service of our loving God. In other words without faith our religious beliefs become useless and even burdensome to the soul.
Many people, younger ones in particular, often go through an intense struggle for the faith, I know I did, for many years even. It can be so hard to grasp this belief in God. Belief that He is true, that He loves me, that He died for me. So often it would seem easier to follow what the world has to offer rather than have faith in the unseen. Take for example when we deliberately sin, how can we then put our trust in a God who doesn't approve of what we are doing? It would be much easier to let go of God, who cares how we live, and follow the world who say 'do what you want'. At such times we question if He is true or if we can just keep on sinning, as He doesn't care or exist anyway.
The biggest thing that convinced me of the truth of God, in my struggle for the faith was, that in faith truth would stand strongest and truest. In our life we often have struggles, some small, but others that really drag us down. In Faith however there is always a way out. God is true, He loves us, He cares, He is there also in our darkest moments. In Faith we have hope. What I mean to say is this - faith makes truth stand out, it speaks loud and clear and never contradicts the truth of the Bible or any other truth for that matter. Not only does faith make truth stand out but Divine love also becomes available through faith. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Galatians 5:6b)
When we have faith in God's love our own hearts become more loving as well, love grows. Trialled by everything the Prince of Darkness can throw at us, faith still produces truth and love, no wonder really because Jesus is the truth of God's love.
Faith in Jesus is in my opinion the most radical stand anyone can take in this godless world. Jesus promised that whosoever put their trust in Him will not perish but have eternal life. I see faith as a personal galaxy, everything that is contained within my life shapes me - my spiritual self. Indeed faith is very important to me for the Spirit of God is building a new me, within the confides of my faith, where I receive a personality which no longer greedily and selfishly seeks for his own good, but rather I become a person who seeks to love God and my neighbour.
Indeed doing Jesus' will – loving our Father in Heaven above all, and neighbour as oneself – means that The Father and The Son in The Spirit will come and reside inside our hearts. This is radical material that needs a predominant spot in our faith life. The questions are – is more of God growing within me? Spiritually is my life sanctified by His Spirit? Do I have a spiritual temple inside of my own being with God as Supreme Ruler dwelling there?
In my opinion Faith in Jesus shapes the spiritual footings of the Zion from above, which descends out of Heaven into our hearts. A most wonderful reality in which Christ rules over our being in love and truth, setting us ever free from our own constrains and inabilities and restoring us anew.(Isaiah 61)
“ The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners..” (Verse 1)
We could see that faith is a two way street. God gifts us with faith – as faith is a gift of God – we use it, work with it, believing His word, trusting His mercy, receiving His love and working with the loving truth we have and are receiving. Indeed the apostle James states that faith without works is useless. (James 2:20) Nevertheless a living faith transforms us from the inside and works itself outwards from there. When we practice faith like that, then in loving gratitude we send back up praises, prayers and petitions to our Heavenly Father.
For faith sure sows a crop of wheat in our hearts, for those who work with their faith, holding on to the truth of God despite enormous opposition, even from within their own hearts. A harvest for God we grow at such times. Faith producing its Heavenly manna. Blessed is He who loved us first – let us all learn to have a living faith in Him.
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