Faith is the pathway to salvation. It is the most important element that can exist in a person’s life for it is the road or path upon which we travel. It is who we are much more than what we do, for it is the defining piece that states just what we will do when the chips are down.
If my faith in Christ tells me to run into a burning building to attempt to save the life of someone trapped inside that building, I should understand that same faith will require me to do what I am able to do, and all that I am able to do, to save someone from an eternity in hell. For faith in Jesus is a belief that all people are made in the image of God and He desires that we love one another, even if they aren’t loving you so much. I don’t think you can love someone more than if you saved them from hell, but some just will not be saved and there is nothing you can do, except pray for them. Or perhaps that is the most important thing you can do for them. God is able to save.
The best definition of faith is given by the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. NKJV
The words that are key here are substance and evidence. I’ve taught on this many times but not sure I ever described these words. Hupostasis is the word interpreted as substance and it means something that supports from beneath. The bowl that supports the fruit and holds it in place. So in this instance it means something that supports your belief. It is proof that God is there and that He is there in your life.
There is a place where we find Paul discussing another aspect of faith. 1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. NKJV
Now for this you must remember faith is substance and evidence. The word interpreted “temptation” here is the Greek word, peirasmos (pi-ras-mos’); a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil], solicitation, discipline or provocation); by implication, adversity: It is interpreted as temptation or try (as in trial) by the King James translators.
So we see that this would mean that God won’t give us more than we can bear. We are all tried and we are all tested and we are all tempted. This word covers all three situations. We have a way of escape from all the trials we may encounter, but let me explain something to you. Because there is a way of escape from all our trials and temptations and tests, doesn’t mean that they will end.
I think that the same God who has given some of us a relatively trial-free life is the same God who allowed millions of Christians and Jews to be slaughtered by the Nazis in WWII. Can you imagine being arrested for being a Christian or a Jew, put on a train, bound for some prison camp, simply because you believed in God. If someone told you God will always make a way out, or God won’t give you more than you can handle, you might have a hard time believing it, especially when it came time to take a shower.
Or how about the children who will starve in some land where there is not enough food. Do you think they would like to hear about how God is not going to allow them to go through more than they can handle?
Look at that verse again…We are told here that we will be offered a way of escape. The word escape is the word ekbasis and it means just what it says but it can be either a literal exit or a figurative.
We all know how to escape a situation through a physical exit. Run as fast as you can. But how about when there is no physical exit, no way out? When we are in a situation that is beyond our control and it looks as though there will be no end, then there is still a possible escape, even though our situation may not change. We can escape in Christ. That’s where we may meditate on His word rather than our situation. It’s where we may find solace and comfort no matter what is going on. It’s where we can pray and speak with God about what is happening. Our faith will prevail if we just turn to God with all our heart and turn away from our situation. God is able to save.
This sounds absolutely nuts to those who do not believe, but I have seen with my own eyes people’s lives restored and made whole when their situation should have prevented it. Faith gives birth to faith.
Our faith is the basis for everything we do as Christians. It is our foundation for understanding and our beliefs. Our faith must be founded upon the rock of Jesus Christ however, if we are to be able to do anything at all in the name of Jesus. And that name is where the power is found.
Not only will he get us through any difficulty but He will utilize His Holy Spirit to instill the next pieces of the transformation that will occur if we are able to maintain our focus on and our relationship with God. Keep in mind that as we are experiencing these changes in our lives that are in the process of being inserted into our souls, there may be simultaneous changes occurring at the same time. And that may cause a problem if you aren’t prepared. The only preparation necessary though, is to speak with your creator and give Him praise for your situation. You will soon find yourself thanking Him for whatever it is you are enduring for you will have learned the lesson of your circumstance.