“I got faith in you baby, I got faith in you now
And you've been such a, such a good friend of me
Know that I love you somehow
I met you, hallelujah, I got faith”
The little excerpt above is from Stevie Wonder’s song “Faith”. I can’t help but wonder what he means when he says “I got faith in you baby”… Maybe he is saying he has – “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”? Or maybe he is saying he has “a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof”? (definitions courtesy of Google)
I don’t know how you feel about these ways of defining faith (my feelings are mixed…), however Peter seems to think a Biblical faith is the basis on which we build a Spirit filled life that knows God in glory and excellence, partakes in God’s Divine nature and is effective and fruitful in their knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 For this very reason (see my last few posts for the that reason), make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Before we can think of adding virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love… we have to be able to say, “I got faith”! I may be ambitious in setting out on the topic of faith in a short blog post, but I am going to give it a go and hopefully give some food for thought from Hebrews 11:
- (Hebrews 11:1-19) Faith makes sacrifices
Abel is commended for the sacrifice he offered, Enoch for rejecting the world to seek after God, Noah for condemning the world, Abraham for forsaking his homeland, Sarah for giving up her life to waiting on God. Faith hopes in the God’s greater unseen promises for our future by sacrificing the worlds seen pleasures now.
“These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar” Hebrews 11:13
- (Hebrews 11:20-29) Faith trusts in God’s covenant promises
Isaac is commended for entrusting the fulfilment of God’s covenant to the son God chose, Jacob depended on God alone to fulfil his promise (clutching his staff with a hip out of joint), Joseph instructed his bones to be buried in the promised land trusting God would still give it and Moses gave up all the treasures of an inheritance in Egypt to flee to the wilderness, counting an inheritance in God’s covenant to be infinitely more valuable. Faith is always grounded in an unwavering trust that God keeps his promises to us.
“He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.” Hebrews 11:26
- (Hebrews 11:30-39) Faith turns suffering into triumph
Judges, kings and prophets are commended for conquering, enforcing justice, becoming mighty and stopping the mouths of lions as well as being tortured, mocked, flogged, imprisoned, stoned and sawn in two. How can this be? Whether we are found standing over or lying under our circumstances, by faith we all triumph together in the promised joy set before us.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
My encouragement for prayer this morning is short – don’t settle for any old faith, pray for this kind of Biblical faith!