Dictionary.com defines the word faith as “belief in something not based on proof”. The writer of Hebrews defines it as “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” Because I don’t remember ever not believing in Jesus I sometimes have a hard time with people who are lacking in the faith department. How could they not see? How could they doubt? How could they not understand there is something, no someone, in control of every step we make?
Recently, I have struggled a little more with my own faith. Not that I have changed my mind, suddenly becoming unconvinced of what I was previously sure of, that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. No, just struggling with my pride and self reliance. I am quick to trust in my own capabilities or my spouse’s strength and less on the Lord. But if I am justified by works I have has something to boast about and if I have something to boast about than faith is null and void. There’s no need to believe in something unseen if you are busy believing in yourself or someone else.
I have also struggled with the simplicity of faith and justification. Could it really be that simple? But what about faith without works is dead? Romans 4 has challenged my thinking. It’s a passage I have read dozens of times but each time brings a deeper understanding of a special and amazing gift. Salvation is just that, a gift. A gift that is not given and then taken away. It’s a gift that is given out of love and sacrifice and blood, sweat and tears.
“But he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness.”
I am reminded that faith is a moment in time and a journey; a process. It may be messy and full of twists and turns and doubts but it’s a growing process as I continually choose to trust in Jesus. It’s a available to all and was planned thousands of years before Jesus was even born. God’s great plan of redemption through faith began long before the birth of his Son. It was always about faith and trust and never about works.
“But the words “counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
Father God, thank you for your amazing plan and gift of your Son, Jesus. Through him we are seen and declared as righteous if only we believe by faith. Thank you that you don’t keep a score card of our rights and wrongs. Work in our hearts as we move along in our faith journey and strengthen our hearts to trust you more and more each day.