Walking by Faith-the Prelude

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Walking by faith is not jumping off of a ten-story building or stepping in the path of a Greyhound bus, expecting miraculous deliverance. That’s not faith; that’s foolishness. Walking by faith is trusting God in difficult circumstances when you don’t understand why they happen. Walking by faith is doing the right thing when it is costly or more convenient to ignore it. It is to continue to believe in God when doubt and darkness surround your way. Walking by faith is to trust the promises in God’s Word, though they seem unrealistic. It is living by the guarantee, “nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37), which, by the way, was spoken by the angel Gabriel when he announced to the virgin Mary, that she would give birth to the Son of God.

Charles Spurgeon, the famous 19th century London preacher said, “Never doubt in the darkness what God has shown you in the light.” He meant that believers in Christ and in the Bible should continue to trust what they know is true about God, His character, His righteousness, His Word and His promises, even when, to the senses, they do not seem to be true.

The verse you sang as a child in Sunday School on beautifully sunny days—“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”—is still true though you may be an adult facing difficult, unwelcome circumstances in life. Jesus does love you, as the Bible teaches, during the joys and also, in the midst of the sorrows you face.

For these reasons, Peter commands Christians to “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Walking by faith means you bundle up your fears, worries, concerns, with the cares of life, and cast them on the Lord, like you would throw a backpack on the shoulders of a strong companion. You trust God to resolve the impossible issues you face, and to hold and keep you, “because He cares for you.”

The idea of walking by faith, sharing your burden, trusting the Lord with the problems and weights of living life, is also an Old Testament truth. The psalmist commanded believers in God to “Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). Casting off the burdens that weigh you down allows Him to sustain you—to hold you up.

Doing the right thing and trusting the Lord for the results is the secret of walking by faith. The psalmist wrote, “When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3-4).

For the Christian, faith is a spiritual discipline that results in spiritual and physical action. In the Bible, having “faith” means to believe or trust. So, every Christian is saved by God’s grace (His unmerited kindness) through faith (your belief and trust) in Jesus. Paul wrote, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). When people trust Christ to save them, God’s grace forgives their sins and grants them eternal life as a free gift, undeserved and totally unearned, “so that no one may boast.”

With a firm grip of the meaning of “faith” – to believe – other verses of the Bible make more sense. When Jesus famously said, “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16), we understand that to “believe” in Jesus, means, not to just believe He exists, but to place your trust in Him alone as your Savior. This teaches that every single person who trusts in Jesus Christ to save him or her, will be saved, shall not perish, but have eternal, everlasting life.

Then, lest anyone misunderstand the whole purpose for His coming into the world, Jesus said, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him” (John 3:17). Here is the Lord’s summary statement for why He came into the world—why He was born of a virgin—why He was rejected by His own—why He was crucified, buried, arisen, ascended and glorified—“that the world might be saved through Him.” Contrary to what many think about the message of Christ being about condemnation—it is all about salvation….by grace through faith in Him…and it is for the whole world!

The prelude to your walk by faith is salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ. You must trust Christ alone to save you, before you can walk by faith, as a Christian, and live a life pleasing to God. Paul testified about the glorious results of this saving faith in Romans 5:1, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In addition to being justified before God, one enormous result of being saved is that you then have “peace with God.” God is no longer your adversary and judge, but your Advocate and Savior, for “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:1-2). Jesus is the only sacrifice or offering for our sins that is acceptable to God. And when He saves us as we call on and trust Him, we then have reconciliation, justification, harmony and peace with our perfectly sinless Heavenly Father.

Are you walking by faith? It is the only walk that eventually leads to, and essentially pleases, God. And it begins by trusting Jesus! Next: Walking by Faith—the Process.

 

 

Author: Larry E. Clements

Follower of Christ, fortunate to be husband to Pat, father of 5, grandfather of 12, writer, associate pastor of Pauline Baptist Church

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