Mark 11:22 “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”
Today we continue on the subject of having faith in the Lord our God. There isn’t much else that can be said of why or how we should have faith in God. After these past few days, it is now a point of whether one will say, “Yes, but . . .” or will say “Yes, That’s true, Praise God, As He has said, So will He perform it!” It is now to the point that you will either believe the Word of God and live by it . . . knowing and understanding to have faith in God, or you know the Word of God to be true, but you just don’t care because it is so much easier to simply believe what you see. But, let us say, “For we walk by faith, not by sight:” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
In closing the subject of having faith in God, let’s focus on just where faith has gotten others. Let’s look at the whole chapter of Hebrews 11:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
Let’s take a look at all that. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. We all have faith in something, even Atheists. They have faith that God is not real. When you get in your car, you have faith that it will start. When you sit down in a chair, you have faith that the chair will hold. Faith, is something we all have . . . we just need to direct faith, toward God because He alone NEVER changes, and is ALWAYS there for us! Continuing in the chapter, we are reminded that the “elders,” those who came before us, those in the Old Testament, obtained good report because of their faith! By faith we know and understand that all we see, the world and the universe, was created by God, when God Spoke it, and not by something we can see today, such as another person, or even a “less evolved” thing. By Faith, Abel’s sacrifice to God was accepted over Cain’s sacrifice because Cain did not present it by faith, nor obedience. Because of Abel’s faithfulness, he was counted as righteous by God, and through Abel’s faith, even though he died such a long time ago, his example still speaks volumes today.
By faith, Enoch did not die. The Word of God shows us that Enoch “walked with God” and then he was “no more” Because “God took him.” Enoch didn’t die, he was “translated” or simply taken up to heaven, because he walked with God, and pleased God through his faithfulness. We know that we cannot please God without faith, because how can we even believe God is there, without Faith? Not to mention we need faith to understand that God will reward those who DILIGENTLY seek Him! Then we also are reminded again of Abraham, which was mentioned the past few days, how God told him to leave his father’s country and go somewhere else . . . And Abraham got up and left without even knowing where he was going . . . because He had faith that God knew what He was talking about and would provide him with a place to live, a country of his own. His faithfulness caused him to wind up dwelling in a wonderful land, which even to this day belongs to his descendants (Israel). Through Faith, Sara believed God when God said she would have a child, even though she was Ninety years old. By Faith, Abraham being a Hundred years old and not the healthiest person, was able to have a child with his Ninety-year-old wife! All that, because of their faith, Abraham had a child and his descendants are so many, and comparable to the number of the stars in the sky, and sand on the seashore (even though his age with poor health made his body “as good as dead”)! All those people died without ever really seeing the promises they were given. They did not live long enough to see the multitude of descendants, nor the faithful reminders they are to us! Yet they had faith in God, even when they didn’t see His Promises come to pass, and even when they could have just stayed still, and stayed in their comfortable lives, countries, and ways of living. It is easier to live without faith, living by sight. But living by Faith causes to much more good to happen to us!
We also see how Abraham by faith even offered up his son Isaac as a sacrifice! God told Abraham to sacrifice and kill his only son. Abraham had faith and sought to do what God said . . . all the while having Faith that God does not lie, nor go back on His promises, and God had already Promised him that through Isaac, his descendants would be innumerable. Such promises can’t be fulfilled if Isaac was dead, so Abraham knew that either God would stop him from killing his son (as He did, after he saw that Abraham would do anything for Him), or God would raise his son from the dead again.
By faith, Isaac when he was old, blessed his sons Jacob and Esau, letting them know what God would have for them, and how they were the bloodline in which all the nations would be blessed (As Jesus was born into that bloodline, as a Jew). By faith Jacob when he was also old, Blessed the sons of Joseph in the same way, and thanked and worshipped God for His Promises. By Faith, Joseph knew that God promised his brethren and descendants that they would have a land of their own, and reminded them faithfully that God would take them out of Egypt someday, and told them as he was dying, that when they left Egypt, to take his bones with them and bury them in the land God would give them!
By faith, Moses chose to suffer with his people instead of enjoy the pleasures he had because he was adopted by the Egyptians. He chose to do what God said, and take the risk of dying, or suffering, or even going to a land he had no idea where, with his people the Israelites, and take them out of Egypt despite the threatenings of Pharaoh! Through faith he believed God when God told him (and the rest of the Israelites—the People of God) to keep the passover so they didn’t face the final plague brought upon Egypt. By faith when they were all backed up against the Red Sea, they trusted God and God parted the waters and let them cross over onto the other side, while the armies of Egypt drowned. By faith Israel listened to God when they were faced with a city that God would give them but the city was well protected . . . marched around the city Seven Days and with just a shout, trusted God, and the walls fell down flat and they overtook the city! By faith the prostitute Rahab changed her ways when she knew Israel would take her city, and she hid the spies and helped them. . . having faith that they would save her and remember her when they conquered the city!
In Verse 32 we then see how time would not permit to speak of ALL the people who showed their faith and showed what a little faith in God can do. In the last two verses, we see a very important reminder too. So many, as I mentioned, will say, “Well that was in Bible Times, things are different now.” or “Well that was them, It’s impossible for me to have that kind of faith!” Yet read those last two verses, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
We have been given something even better than those in the Old Testament. We have been made even greater, with greater faith and with greater promises! This is because we have Christ Jesus! If they could believe God and do great things through faith, without even seeing or knowing Jesus, then we who have known Jesus, believed on Jesus, chosen to follow Him . . . we are even stronger in faith! Therefore we have no excuses, but are even more capable of performing wonderful things, and having wonderful things done in our lives!
Now . . . it isn’t a matter of not being able to have faith in God, nor not knowing a reason to have faith in God . . . now it is just a matter of whether you want to be delivered by God, helped by God, and have your prayers answered by God. The Word of God makes things very clear . . . it’s now just up to us if we choose to listen. We’ve now no excuses.
Let’s “Have faith in God.” (Mark 11:22) And also remember what Jesus said about when He, the Son of man, returns to this Earth . . . will He find those who say they believe on Him, to be faithful? “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
I continue to keep you in my prayers, and do thank you so much for your encouraging words and your own prayers for me. I love you so much with brotherly love, and Pray that God Blesses you greatly, and increases your faith in Him as you read His Word. I pray that you have an absolutely wonderful day today!
Love in Christ, Always,
Your friend forever,
Psalm 29:4 “The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.”