Building Blocks Of Faith
Faith is one of the most powerful elements
in human life. The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is a picture
gallery of the heroes of faith. It begins with a definition of
faith. We always need a definition that we may know what we
are talking about. Paul's definition is an accurate one when
properly understood. "Now faith is the substance [ground or
confidence, margin] of things hoped for, the evidence of
things not seen." The American Standard Version renders it
thus, "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a
conviction of things nob seen." In the margin it reads, "Now
faith is the giving substance to things hoped for, a test of
things Dot seen."
a practical rather than a definitive picture of faith. Faith
is accepting a thing as true and acting upon that thing as
truth with all confidence. As it relates to God, it is taking
God at his word. It is believing his promises. It is personal
acceptance of his promises, relying on those promises, and
making them the basis of the life.
phase of faith is confident trust: the other is confident
action. We read of the "full assurance of faith." Such full
assurance in the old time worthies resulted in great
accomplishments. In the eleventh chapter of Hebrews and
elsewhere we read of what was done through faith. We look upon
those who accomplished such things as, in some way,
superhuman. We are inclined to believe, as the doubters of
this world believe that the day of faith in religion has
largely passed. III reality that is not true. There are mighty
works of faith being accomplished today. Faith is just as
effective today as in any former age. There are people now who
have faith and the might of that faith is manifested in mighty
deeds and accomplishments.
wonderful things are accomplished by faith today, tho the
world goes on its way in ignorance of them. Most people think
there is little faith today. They overlook the fact that when
these worthies of the eleventh chapter of Hebrews were living
the people did not consider their faith as amounting to very
much They were probably entirely unaware of the great
accomplishments of faith that were going on around them. In
like manner, many people, in fact most people, are ignorant of
the wonderful accomplishments of faith that are so prevalent
read of the accomplishments of faith in the eleventh chapter
of Hebrews it is natural for us to say, "I am not like those;
I cannot have faith such as they had." I am not so sure of
that. They were only common folk with perhaps little more than
average faith. It may be that we shall accomplish a little
less than they accomplished, but faith in us will produce real
results just the same.
in which they lived was no more favorable for faith than
today. In fact there was not so much faith then as today.
Christian knowledge and Christian experience have laid a
broader ground for faith, a surer foundation than they had in
former ages. Faith is just as mighty today and will accomplish
as much as in the ancient day. Perhaps we shall not duplicate
the things they did. That may not be necessary; or perhaps it
could not serve any good purpose if we should do so. But faith
is the gift of God and he is willing to impart it to each of
already have much natural faith. The faith we have is the
basis of our lives. Without faith the business world could not
operate. Home life would not be possible.. Religion could not
exist. Government would be powerless. No great undertakings
would ever be begun. Accomplishments, of whatsoever sort, are
based on faith No wonder we are urged in the Scriptures to
"have faith in God."
God is believing him. We can have no satisfactory relations
with him, except through faith. We are saved by faith; we are
kept by faith. We are justified by faith. We stand by faith.
We rejoice by faith.
Assurance of immortality is a matter of faith. Faith is the
victory that overcometh the world.
apostles had faith. Jesus said to them, "Ye believe in God."
Faith brings certainty. Without faith there can be no
certainty. It brought certainty to Paul. He said, "I know whom
I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that
which I have committed unto him against that day."
worthy to be believed. He cannot lie because his whole nature
is truth and righteousness. He never changes. He never forgets
his promises. He never turns away from those who trust him.
Therefore, have faith in God. We should hold the attitude
toward the Word of God that was held by an old saint who wa'
nearing the sunset of life. A minister quoted to her, "Lo I am
with you alway," and said, "What a blessed promise that is."
"Ah," said she; "that is not a promise, it is just a fact."
promises are facts. They are actual facts, or potential facts.
They are either facts to us or may become facts to us by
trusting them. The greatest fact in the lives of God's people
is that they believe in God and they act upon that belief in a
way that produces definite results in Christian
living—holiness of heart and life, and true happiness. In
fact, there can be no other basis of true happiness save
faith. It is the foundation of all. To believe in God as the
New Testament pictures him, and to accept him as he is
represented to be, and to submit to him as such faith would
lead us to do, is to be happy.
needful thing is that we believe in God as he reveals himself
to be. We must do this quite apart from any inner feelings we
may have about him or any fear' we may have about him. He is
what he reveals himself to be. If we feel he may be other than
what he represents himself to be it is because we do not
definitely believe that representation of himself is true. We
read God's promises and often we cannot feel that they mean
just what they say, or that God will make them true to us. We
fear and tremble when facing various things in life tho God
has promised to be with us and help us. He has promised us
victory through Jesus Christ all along the Christian way. Yet
how many times we shrink; and tremble and walk in uncertainty.
is the source of all this. Abraham believed God; therefore he
did not stumble at God's promise. He took God at his word,
then acted upon his word just as tho there could be no such
thing as questioning it. God'' Word is true. His promises were
meant to be fulfilled.. They are "yea and amen" to everyone
who believeth God has no desire to avoid fulfilling that which
he has promised to do. He is under no compulsion. He promised
because he wanted to do the things he promised to do.
do what he has promised. Do you believe it? It is true,
whether or not you believe it. You will get the benefit of it
only by believing it. You can believe ii You have the power to
believe it. All fears that God will not do what he has
promised are foolish fears. If you will believe, God will do
the rest. If you will trust there will be no failure. If you
will go ahead in faith, doubting nothing, your way will be
prepared before you. The victory will ever be yours. You will
be able to stand in the evil day. Whatever comes cannot
overwhelm you. Your strength will be equal to your need. "Have
faith in God."
Psalmist declared that he would not fear tho war was made upon
him. That was the language of faith. Faith gave him courage.
It will give you courage. There is no telling what God will do
for those who trust him. What will earthly governments do for
their citizens? Here is an illustration: Great Britain sent
ten thousand men on a long voyage by sea, then seven hundred
miles over sunscorched trails through the jungles of Africa
to fight their way through an armed and brave enemy tr rescue
one man. That man had been arrested and imprisoned illegally
and unjustly. His life was at stake.
Britain risked the lives of ten thousand men that he might be
earthly government will do this to save one of its citizens
what will the government of heaven do to save one of its
citizens who appeals to it? Jesus said twelve legions of
angels were ready to assist him and to defend him and we are
told that "the angel of the Lord encampeth round about them
that fear him, to deliver them." "Have faith in God."
of faith is the most satisfactory of all lives. In fact it is
the only satisfactory life. Matthew Henry has said, "None live
so easily, so pleasantly, as those who live by faith."
implicitly trust their parents. They believe they will be
protected and cared for. They believe their needs will be
supplied. They believe they have nothing to fear. They have
the confidence expressed by the little boy who was threatened
with injury by a larger boy. He said as he looked the other
squarely in the face, "No, you won't hurt me. My daddy won't
let you." If we have the same confident trust in God we can
say, "God will not let you" do the things that are threatened.
God will protect us. God will help us.
not imagination. It is reality. We should cultivate an
attitude of faith toward God, an expectancy that he will take
care of us. This brings to us the confident assurance that we
have nothing to fear. This in turn brings rest and peace. When
we have learned to exercise such faith we have learned the
secret of the singing heart.
Larson says, "We should train ourselves to meet everything in
that attitude of mind that expects all things to work out
right." Why should we not have such an attitude? Why should we
not expect such things? We have every reason to be confident
of this result. Instead of questioning, fearing, trembling,
lest we may fail, let us exercise definite faith in God, and
day by day build up ourselves and erect a structure of
Christian character and Christian life worthy of the God
th&t helps us. Someone has said, "Do not wonder if you
will fail, but think how you are going to succeed." That is
the attitude with which we should face life. Success is the
product of faith. We should expect to succeed as well as
determine to succeed.
produces the building blocks wherewith we build up life. These
building blocks of faith are not like the child's blocks with
which it builds up a lottery structure which falls at a touch.
No, faith furnishes concrete blocks to build an enduring
structure. With them we can build a life that the earthquakes
of unfavorable circumstances cannot throw down.
manifests itself in or leads to obedience. If we believe God
is King and has the right to rule over us, "And if we believe
the Bible is his law, it will bring us into an attitude of
obedience. It will be our joy to do his will. Such faith will
end rebellion. There will be no questioning, but sincere,
wholehearted obedience. It will not be the obedience of fear
but the obedience of love. Its language is, "I delight to do
thy will, O God."
also manifests itself in submission to God God's will becomes
sweet to us, and this submission to him becomes a great
building force in our lives.
faith also manifests itself in fidelity, loyalty to principles
of right. It makes us willing to sacrifice and to serve and
makes service fruitful in joyfulness.
results in honoring God by giving credit to his promises. If
we shall "set to our seal that God is true, then we can say
like the prophet in II Kings 6, "He that is for us is more
than they that be against us." Faith has an inborn courage
that can face anything. This courage is not the result of
assumption. It is founded on solid facts.
not enough to believe in God. We must believe in ourselves as
well. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Men who succeed have faith
in themselves and faith in their fellows. Doubt either and you
Sometimes it is easier to believe in God than to believe in
ourselves, but there are abundant reasons why we should have
faith in ourselves. If we know we are sincere, earnest, and
trying to do God's will, if we know our purposes are right
purposes and our actions are based on such purposes we have an
excellent foundation for faith in ourselves. I do not mean
faith in ourselves apart from God, but faith that God and we
are partners, that God and we can accomplish what is necessary
to accomplish. God does not want us to go through life like
shrinking criminals. He wants us to walk out boldly on the
highways of life, unafraid that he will fail us and unafraid
that we shall fail. We need self respect.
to have confidence in ourselves, in the sincerity of our
motives, in our just and right intentions.
we should have faith in God's respect for us. It is not
humility to call ourselves "worms of the dust." We are men and
women. We are sons of God. We are somebody. We are worthy of
God. Jesus said, "They shall walk with me in white for they
are worthy." To be sure there is a standpoint from which we
should consider ourselves unworthy and unprofitable. That is
not an attitude of self depreciation. It is only recognizing
facts. Nevertheless that is only part of the truth. We have
wonderful possibilities. We are wonderful beings. God counts
us worthy to stand in his presence before his throne. There is
therefore no need that we should go through life in sackcloth
and ashes bewailing what we &re. We should recognize that
God respects us and esteems us. He would not have sacrificed
his Son for us had this not been true.
should have faith in our Christian experience. I have seen
many downcast, doubting people. When I asked them what is the
matter some said, "I don't feel right." When I asked, "Why
don't you feel right?" some answered, "I don't know, but I
don't feel right." Reader, you may have the same experience.
Perhaps you don't feel right. Well, what of it? Your emotions
&re not the test of your spiritual state. Some people feel
bad physically when there is very little wrong with them,
perhaps nothing of any consequence. Others may feel all right
when they are in the grasp of a deadly disease. Just so
spiritually. You cannot tell by your emotions what is your
relation with God. Your emotions were never intended to be
evidences of your spiritual standing. We must stand by faith,
learn to exercise faith, learn to live by faith. Judge
yourself righteously. Do not let your feelings master your
faith Make your faith master your feelings. As a general thing
when you believe right you will feel right but very often
faith is based on feelings instead of on realities. It does
not matter so much how you feel. How are you? This is to be
settled by your faith quite apart from your feelings and when
you settle it leave your feelings out of the question as
should make a practice of building into our live' every day
the building blocks of faith; not building blocks of doubts
and fears, anxieties and worries. There are plenty of these
building blocks of faith to be had. We shall have more to say
upon this subject further on. In learning to build with these
building blocks of faith we learn the secret of the singing
heart, of a joyful, happy Christian experience, of certainty
for the future and just as much certainty for the