Faith is trust, it is the ability to trust and believe without question or debate, it either is or is not. “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.” (Heb. 11:6) The question is how much and how often, does the Lord look unfavorably upon us when we doubt, or does He use these opportunities to prove Himself, as it were, to us anew, to show us that He is faithful.
That is the rub, as they say, He is always faithful, never wavering, us, not so much. Faith to use an analogy loosely, can be compared to the thrill rides at an amusement park, we are nearly, not completely, but fairly sure that we will not suffer injury or death on the ride, but the thrill, the exhilaration is not only worth our hard-earned money, but worth the risk of our lives. The anticipation, the experience, the memory, such is life, such should be our faith, our trust in the direction that the Lord has for our lives. We should, no matter the circumstances anticipate what is coming, what is going to occur in our life, for we have the assurance that He who leads us knows what He is doing, we are the ones that must assure ourselves that the experience that will arrive is worth the risk.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1) We all know one fact, we will all either be raptured, (1 Thess. 4:17) or we will die, this along with everything else in our lives, every moment of every day, is in the hands of the Lord God, the amount of anticipation that we have in this knowledge is called our faith, the amount of trust that we are willing to place in Christ for the direction of our lives. There is only one hindrance to this trust, ourselves, not that we do not want to trust completely, it is only in the fact that the direction we would like to take is not always the same as what the Lord has in mind. “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia.” (Acts 16:6)
How? How did Paul know expressly and without question that what he wanted to do he was not meant to do? That question, at least in the exact knowledge of the circumstance is not relevant, the response given by Paul was, in faith. We are saved by grace through faith, (Eph. 2:8) and so it is right and true that we should presume that the same grace will keep us, will direct us, and bring us to where we are to be for His glory.
“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 1:24) There is the memory part, before it has even happened, before we take that first step in anticipation, before we experience what the Lord has in store for us, we have, as it were, a memory of it, because we live by faith, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) We know that He is faithful, we know that no evil will befall us. (Psalm 91:10) We doubt because we fear, but acting faithfully in fear is much better than disobedience, for all disobedience is sin, and shows a lack of faith, through fear, pride, loss, and all of the other negative emotional responses we have to our desire to trust.
I do not believe that many of us can truly understand what this verse means “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Rev. 12:11) Willingly, and in complete trust and obedience, preparing our minds to forfeit our life here for the Lord. There is no greater love, (John 15:13) there is no surer sign of faith, there is no higher point to be reached in the area of trust than to willingly sacrifice yourself at the altar of faith for Jesus Christ. Easy to write, easy to say, easy to read the accounts of, and sing songs about, not so easy I fear when it is your turn.
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:4) Standing in line, hearing the soft crying, perhaps a scream occasionally, hearing the “thump” of the guillotine, and then moving forward in the line, one step closer to your turn. Not attempting to run away, not looking for a possible escape route, waiting patiently, in anticipation, for the experience that will soon be a distant memory, waiting your turn in the calm assurance that He who has promised is faithful and true.