Where is your Substance? In the Word-3-30-2015
It is said that faith without substance is dead, but I want to know what is this substance and how indeed does it prove faith is there at all?
Well to figure this out we have to see what faith is. According to the dictionary it is a strong belief or trust in someone or something. So I assume saying that I trust the floor will support me as I stand up in the morning is faith. There is a song that says that faith is trusting in a great big God who can move the mountains, and calm the seas and takes care of us. In Hebrews 11 it is described as such; ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
In some translations it exchanged the word ‘confidence’ for ‘substance’. I wonder at times how substance, which is tangible, can be mixed up and called confidence in a translation. If we think about it though, the substance is actually the proof of our faith, thus the confidence we show in Christ to have died for us when we change our lives to life according to His will is the substance of our faith in Christ.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6
We have established that faith is to trust and believing, faith in Christ is believing and trusting Him with our souls, with our earthly lives and with the substance we live out showing our faith in Him. I say it that way because we have to show the world that we love, believe, trust and follow Christ by our actions. That is the deeds that you will read about in James 2 this week. Walking out the faith we have is how we show we know Him.
What good is it, dear brothers an sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by yoru actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, "Good by and have a good day; stay warm and eat well" -- but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. James 2:14-17
So how does one prove that they have faith if things are constantly tripping you up, causing you to stress out, or worry? You can’t. Plain and simple if we are not allowing the worry to over take us, but looking to God to help us find the answer as we walk through the situation presented to us then we are showing faith in God to provide that way out that pastor was speaking of recently.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
Does this mean our faith will keep troubles away? No, we live in a dying world troubles are on every side of us daily; it means that we will not have to give in to temptation because we can walk away from the situation. That is what God does for us in areas that we are weak, he makes a way out. Sometimes walking out of that situation is how we show our faith in the God who provides our safe haven in the midst of this turmoil we live in. Just the fact that we have troubles is something to cheer about! Rejoice even!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1:2-8
If we claim to have faith but do not live a life that proves, or shows, or makes it clear that we are trusting God to guide us through the troubles we face due to life itself then we are living a double minded life. Either we trust that He will provide or He won’t. Double minded is like when we pray and ask God for healing, but then stop taking our antibiotics that He provided for us to take to heal us. Even Jesus had the ten lepers go cleans themselves in the river to be healed. Sometimes it is by the act of obedience that we show our faith true. Sometimes our faith to believe is shown in word alone, and that is enough, sometimes.
Where is God in all this?
If we did not have faith in God, we would not know that He was going to be there in the middle of the mud we had to walk through but slipped and fell. I know that’s a jump but when I read the scripture above I thought, this is like falling into mud. When you are in the mud you do not realize that it’s only dirt and can wash off, we think of all the hassle it will be and how embarrassed we are about it. We tend to fuss over the little things in life instead of using that faith that we have to get us through.
Faith without works is dead. If we do not step out in faith, as Abraham did in Hebrews 11, and follow the dream we believe God gave us no matter how hard it is to achieve then we are not really trusting and believing that God gave it to us and will indeed bring it to pass are we?
It is in the stepping out, the walking through, and the living in the sorrowful times remaining strong in our faith and trust that God will be there with us that we find our substance.
In the words to a song I wrote many years ago “He will be there for you, no matter what you’ve done or might do. …, because Jesus loves you so much.” When we put our faith and trust in Him with our lives, no matter what we go through, living the life He has put before us, making the right choices; He will help us with the substance of things hoped for! He will give us the evidence of things not seen.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for being You and giving us reason to trust you today, help us walk in your will, your direction and to follow your Guide book as we read the instructions you have for us there. In Jesus Name, amen.
Suggested reading James 1: 1-27, James 2:1-26, Hebrews 11:1- 40, 1 Corinthians 10:1-33.