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By BARBARA BROWN
The very word implies there is something that will press upon me for examination. Whenever I hear a promise or a pledge, I will choose to doubt it or believe it. And then I go forth to exercise my faith by making decisions according to my beliefs. For example, every time I board a flight or ferry out of Ketchikan, I put my faith in the pilots’ ability to successfully navigate and deliver me to my destination. I wouldn’t board the vessel if I doubted I would get there.
Faith produces hope, and God has given us mega promises that turn our attention in a hopeful direction. As we align our lives according to His promises, we gain confidence in the One Who hears our prayers. Jesus never meant for us to live life to ourselves. He made us for family and for relationship. He calls us to ask and receive, and He promises to all who believe, “Come to Me and I will give you rest.”
Hebrews 11:1-3, “Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen. For by this, the elders obtained testimony. By faith we understand that the universe has been framed by the Word of God, so that what is seen has not been made out of things which are visible.”
When God’s Word framed our universe, His plan for us was infused into the natural world He created. He placed within each of us a seeking heart that would observe the universe and declare by faith that “…the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows His handiwork.” Psalm 19:1.
A young man in the book of Genesis, Adam’s second son, believed God. His story reveals that he chose to walk this earth by faith. He understood God’s forward-looking promises and put faith into action. “By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had testimony given to him that he was righteous.” Hebrews 11:4
Abel’s faith assured him of things to hope for. He contemplated God’s act of creation, probably every night as he lay down and watched the night sky. He clearly took time to meditate upon the sacrificial act God made in covering his parents’ sins (while they inhabited Eden.) And by faith he offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than his brother.
Abel’s offering represented God’s Son, coming to earth as He promised, offering Himself to take away the sins of the world. By offering what was right in God’s sight, Abel embraced God’s plan. When he offered the lamb, he showed respect for the promised Lamb of God. Abel could do this by faith because he felt assured of things hoped for.
F.A.I.T.H. can be defined as Fantastic Adventures In Trusting Him. Men like Gideon, Noah and Abraham were challenged by God when he called them to do His will. It took faith for Gideon to fight an enemy greater than his own army. Noah’s faith to build the ark on dry ground was a testament to his trust in God.
And Abraham, “By faith…when he was called, obeyed to go out to the place which he was to receive for an inheritance. He went out, not knowing where he went. By faith, he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a land not his own, dwelling in tents…” Hebrews 11:8,9
These men were not looking for adventure! But God saw their potential to believe in His promises. He planned for them to experience great adventures, and, by faith, bring glory to His name.
Barbara Brown is a credentialed minister and Bible teacher at the Lighthouse Church of God.