Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
On holidays I found that I got to catch the news at six a lot more than normal, we are usually often out or busy at that time. I certainly found that there was an awful lot of bad news; kidnapped children, murders, detention centre horror stories, rising road death toll, the rise and spread of terrorism, falling Australian dollar, Stock markets plunging, China's economy in trouble, and of course - Nadal getting knocked out in the first round.
It seems even the positive stories have been told in a negative way to get people to watch. Have we become addicted to bad news? If these are the only reports you are receiving, you are going to live a life that reflects the state of your mind - a negative life.
Isaiah asks, "Who's report are you going to believe?"
Faith is activated when we decide to believe the promises of God, the Word from God, the Scriptures. For faith to come alive, we have to be connected to Christ. That's where our faith comes from. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. We live by the faith of the son of God.
In order to be connected with Christ there must be a cleansing of the things that get between us and Him. This happens when we repent. We cannot be cleansed from things we don't let go of. And not just simply let go of - we need to reject them and forsake them too. Let go of the things that holding you back, holding you down. This is repentance; confessing and forsaking. The promise is we will find mercy. Once we have done this, supernatural confidence enters our souls, an assurance we cannot get form anywhere except God. This is the beginning of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
Many versions of the Bible translate this word
substance as ‘assurance’, or ‘confidence’. This is true,
however, the word substance is the best. If you’re a woman who is pregnant with a baby - you
have substance within you. You’re not just confident
or assured you’re going to have a child. You know
you will. You have the substance of that child within
you. That knowing within is evidence that you will
give birth to something in your future.
The word "evidence" literally means ‘title deed’. Even though you may not have seen the block of land and the house, if you have the title deed with your name on it as the owner and it’s in your hand, you have the evidence that it’s yours. That is what faith is. It’s the title deed to your future.
There are things you have thought you could never do. Some of you thought you could never buy a house. Some of you have purchased one and now you think you’ll never be able to pay off the mortgage. Some of you have lost money and you think you’ll never be able to recover. Some of you worry that you’ll never get married, or that you’ll ever get through whatever it is you’re facing. Take whatever little faith you have and begin to believe God that He will help you accomplish what it is you are setting yourself to achieve. Once you make the decision and act on that, He will be there to work with you. God moves in our moving.
One of the most famous chapter on faith in the bible is Hebrews 11. Here are 10 keys to faith as demonstrated throughout Hebrews 11:
1. Faith is the Key to creating a whole new world for yourself.
Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, os that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
Faith understands the power of words. Faith speaks. Faith understands your world is pretty much the result of your words. If your words were clothing, how would you be dressed. If your words were your circumstances, what would your surroundings look like?
2. Faith is the key to giving effective offerings
Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of His gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.
Abel's offering was bold, positive, courageous, obedient. Cain's offering was doubftul. He didn't bring the first fruits as Abel did. He knew that he was doing his own thing and therefore his faith was low. The defining difference with Abel was that he gave with faith in his heart. When you bring your tithes and offerings each week to the Lord, you will find there is a faith that rises within. This is seed faith. It's the same faith any farmer gets when he plants a seed. He knows it will come back up out of the ground and multiply thousands of times over.
3. Faith is the key to living supernaturally
Hebrews 11:5 By faith enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, "and was not found, because God had taken him"; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Faith positions you in the supernatural dimensions of God. When you start to believe, you access the resources of heaven, you access the power of God. In doubt we are living in our own strength. We will burn out. Living in faith positions us in Christ, where we find energy, fire, power, and provision for the journey we're on.
4. Faith is the key to pleasing God.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
5. Faith is the key to bringing salvation to our homes.
Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
6. Faith is the key to achieving our destiny.
Hebrews 11:8-9 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
7. Faith is the key to turning a barren life into a fruitful life.
Hebrews 11:11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judge Him faithful who had promised.
8. Faith is the key to the fulfilment of promises.
Hebrews 11:12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude; innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
9. Faith is the key to negotiating the journey through life God has for us.
Hebrews 11:13-14 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
10. Faith is the key to moving forward and not backward, to growing up in God.
Hebrews 11:15-16 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Inspired by this passage of scripture, I have written a poem on faith over on my wordpress blog - click here to check it out!
This message is one that I shared last week in our weekend services. If you want to listen to any of my other weekend messages why not check out my podcast?
See you in church!