So what is faith? Well amazingly the Bible answers that for us in Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.This isn't saying if your really, really believe in something it is true, which I think is what some people take a faith in God as but rather it's a confidence and assurance about immaterial things. It's quite simply something stronger than a simple belief. In a Christian context it is God we hope for and who we don't see and through or faith we are confident and certain that He is there. We were given this analogy of our certainty in Christ through faith
You know how when you meet a rickety bridge on a walk and because of the uncertainties you choose to walk on to a safer crossing point. Now imagine being chased by a pack of wolves and coming across the same bridge, you'll take your chances won't you. Well that's not what we do when we walk with Christ, when we walk with Christ we can step on that bridge no matter the circumstance or dangers because of certainty in Him.Now I think our faith is amazing because it allows us to be certain in Christ and His protection over us. You see we normally won't upset the status quo because we fear the repercussions but our certainty in Christ allows us to overcome those fears. In fact if you continue looking through Hebrews 11 then you find that we are called to be faithful and match our view on life with Gods, rather by matching our views with Gods we can grow further in faith.
So let's begin with Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.God made this world and is perfect so it logically succeeds that God's view of the world is perfect. As His creation then we should try and make our world view the same as God's, quite probably impossible but sure a task we should attempt to obtain. Our thinking should always be influenced by God, I don't think it's a simple case of "What Would Jesus Do?" but rather it's also "How Would God Act?" and "What Are God's Thoughts On This?" We have God's thoughts and ideas written out for us, The Bible, and yet we spend most of our time trying to fit it in to our modern world, we dilute it sometimes in this attempt. We should stop this, read the Bible for what it is, God's word, and try and fit our world into the Bible, if it doesn't work then we've got to sacrifice something on our part. So really to understands God's view we need to understand the Bible. We need to wrestle with the Bible, search out people's alternate understanding and find the full truth of it all. It's a daunting task to understand the Bible and no one will ever understand it all but start where you are comfortable and move on from there, as with moving down God's river we start paddling and move to deeper waters as go on.
So from there we move onward in chapter 11 where there are many examples of people having faith in God and reaping the reward because of it. So then 11:7:
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.Noah's a great example of acting on our faith, God came to Noah and said essentially said this "I'm going to do something that I have never done before, here's what I want you to do." Noah had no reason to believe that it was really going to happen but by faith he made the ark. What happened was this, Noah had faith in God thereby he trusted God with his life and believed with all his heart that God would keep to His word. It's because of this that Noah moved in faith and built the ark despite the consequences, this comes from a deep knowledge of God and having his world view in line with God's, causing obedience to God.
Hebrews 11:11 is another case of trusting God to deliver on His promises.
And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she[a] considered him faithful who had made the promise.Sarah, Abraham's wife, really wanted a child and knew she would get one because God promised her one. When she started to realize she was past childbearing age she offered her servant to Abraham so that he could have a child. Yet despite the fact she wasn't fully trusting in God, He kept His promise to her and gave her a child of her own. He keeps His promises so perhaps we should be more trusting and faithful in waiting on the Lord to act. Hebrews 11:26 next.
He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.So this is all about Moses just to give you some context. Moses had it right, he saw doing anything for the sake of Christ greater in value than the best the Earth could offer. We've lost that slightly today in my eyes, it's probably the reason we can fall into sin with the most ease because we forget the value, the worth of what Jesus Christ is in our lives. I want to be able to do what Moses did, leave a position of power, authority and wealth to follow Christ. I don't mean I want to get it all and make a point of following Christ, but rather I'd like to have the courage and strength of faith to give up everything and do what God has asked of me. As in getting our world view to match God's world view, we also need to be at the point where God say something and we act on it. We can only reach that point as we grow in faith and grapple with who God is more and more. Finally Hebrews 11:17
By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,If you don't know who this one and only son is, well it's the one Sarah had just a couple paragraphs ago. You know the one that God had promised Abraham and delivered after Sarah had past child bearing age. Well God asked Abraham to sacrifice that same son, and you know what Abraham trusted that God had a good plan for him since God had also promised that Abraham's descendants be as numerous as the grains of sand. It's a testament to Abraham's faith in God, and an example to us all. We all suffer hard times of testing, and yes we complain and moan but I don't think that's the way about it at all. Sure it may tear at our heart to sacrifice, or lose, something dear to us but we have to firm in our faith knowing that God has promised us something even better. So whilst we may get depressed due to hard times, remain strong in the knowledge God has promised good to you. Trust that God is easily enough to fulfill His promises even though you may be tested in this life!
So I encourage you all to grow in faith and strive to understand the word of God more.