so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:7
Throughout the world people work hard to accomplish great things in their own lives or those around them. As they work hard, they hope that they will succeed or make a difference.
All their hope is found in their own abilities and what they have done, and is being compared with what others have done. Often there is a lot of insecurity and fear of not being able to succeed or make the difference desired. There is no solid hope to hold on to.
As Paul talks about salvation, he points out that people are justified by God’s grace so that they can have the assurance of eternal life.
People like to know that what they did was good and good for something. They want to be able to earn what they receive. As a result of this desire, people will try to justify all of their actions as good and worthwhile. The world will justify sin in the name of freedom.
Believers will often try to justify their salvation by what they have done. Some will point out all the good things that they have done, how they read their bible and go to church, then claim that they are clean before God and deserve heaven.
Once a person sins, he has an eternal death sentence upon his head that nothing he can do will remove. Doing all the good things in the world and living perfectly does not remove the judgement against sin.
It is only by the grace of God that any person can have that judgement removed. It is putting trust and hope in the work of Jesus Christ that saves and gives the assurance of eternal life to come.
Your life is no different than that of any other person that has lived upon this earth. You are or were a sinner who did not know God, nor Jesus Christ. All the good things that you were doing fell short of getting you into heaven.
God in His great mercy and grace sent Jesus to pay for your sins. If you have chosen to repent and believe in what Jesus did, you will be justified before God from all your sins and given the hope of eternal life. This hope is assurance that it will happen, but not by your works, but by God’s grace.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will not work for your salvation, but trust in the work of Jesus Christ; that you will know you have eternal life in Jesus; and that you will live your life believing in and following God.
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
The world is always seeking how to make things better. Doctors and scientist are spending billions of dollars searching for ways to bring about cures to various sicknesses. Others are fighting for ways to clean up the environment to save nature and mankind.
Challenges in this world are so great that many do not have much hope. They cannot see any real solutions to most of the problems that are being faced. Death and sickness is so great that people cannot see around the problems and want to give up. They have no joy in their lives because they no longer have any hope.
David knows that there is a hope that the world does not know of. His hope was in the Lord. It is only God who can help and be the needed shield.
Believers are not any less susceptible to problems and challenges in life than the rest of the world. Every day they face many of the same problems that non-believers face.
The difference between the believer and the non-believer is that the believer has a hope that is real. This is not a hope, like ‘I hope this will happen’, but a hope that says, ‘I KNOW this WILL happen’. Every believer know that Jesus and the Father are true to their word. They will do what they said they will do.
Two of the things God said He would do is be the needed help and shield for those who put their trust in Him. God helps the believer by removing the situation or giving him strength to make it through the situation. He puts a hedge of protection around the believer protecting him from being destroyed spiritually. His salvation is secure and for eternity, unless one gives it up.
While these things may not have occurred yet, the believer knows that they will happen in God’s time.
You also can have this assurance in God. God has never failed yet and he will not start now with you. He will always be there to help you in your time of need. God will help you in the best way possible for eternity, regardless of how it looks in the here and now.
As you put your trust in Jesus, He will shield you from losing the salvation He has given to you and that you have accepted.
Rejoice and keep waiting on the Lord.
I pray today that you will know the salvation Jesus provides; that you know the hope you can have in God; that you will know the help God provides you; that you will see God’s shield in your life; and that you will rejoice in God.
A while back I asked the question of what my readers would like me to write on. If there was a subject or topic that they would like to hear about. One of the suggestions that came up was to talk about faith.
While I love talking about faith, it also scares me a bit to talk about faith. One thing that I have learned with teaching the Bible and doing this blog, is that I have to face in real life what I talk about. It is as though God says ‘you wrote this, now do you believe it and act upon it? Let’s find out.’ When my family is going through a difficult time, my wife can usually peg what I am teaching or writing about. This means that as I write about faith, I will have to step out in more faith.
I hope you come along with me on this journey to discover more about what faith is and what it means to have faith.
Faith is something that is not physical, but impacts every area of life for every person on this earth. It is something that every person has whether they admit it or not.
To begin this study of faith we must look at the greatest verse on what faith is:
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
This verse is the beginning verse on what faith is. I will continually refer back to it throughout this study.
Just looking at this verse, it says that faith is two things: confidence and assurance. Let’s look at these two things closer.
Confidence is described as the feeling or belief that one can rely upon something or someone. It is complete, solid and firm trust in that something or someone.
The other word ‘assurance’ is described as a positive declaration intended to give confidence. It is a promise.
This confidence is found in what we hope for. This hope is not the desperate hope that many in the world have. ‘I hope that this will turn out right’. Hope is the knowing that something is going to happen. As believers we look forward to the return of Jesus. We look forward to a life in heaven with no more pain, suffering or death. We look forward to what life will be like some day.
We can know for sure that all that God has said He will do, He will do it! We can go to the bank on it and cash it in. God’s word is true and will never fail to be fulfilled in its time.
We also have assurance of what we do not see. No one can see heaven right now. No one can see Jesus right now. No one can see a perfect life with no more pain, suffering, sickness or death. Yet, it is there in the future. We can see it in the mind, but not physically. This is faith.
Many will claim to have no faith, yet, every person who has walked on this earth has had some faith. You have faith when you hit the light switch that the light will turn on. You have faith that the other driver will stay in his lane as he drives past you. You have faith that your boss will pay you your agreed upon salary when the work is done. You have faith that when you get out of bed, the floor will be there to step upon.
Now that I have given you a base line of what faith is and that you already have it, I will begin to move on to further study as to how to apply this faith as a believer. What does it mean to a believer? How does he use it?
In order to do this, I will be looking at the lives of different people throughout the Bible that show what faith looks like in action. I don’t know how many I will look at before I am finished with this study, but it will be a good number.
This study will be posted on Mondays when I can get it put together. I will strive to do this every Monday, until it is completed, but I may miss a Monday or so. Bear with me in patience as we begin this journey together in learning what faith is and how to apply it to our lives.