Faith is both common and uncommon.
It is both prevalent and extremely rare. How does faith occupy such a contradictory status? Because faith must have an object; it must be connected to something else. The object of any faith makes it common or uncommon, prevalent or rare.
Common Faith. We have faith in bridges or we would never dare cross over on them. We are confident that an airplane will fly or we wouldn’t board. We are sure those drivers hurtling toward us going the other way at least ten miles over the speed limit, inches from our car, will stay in their assigned lanes. We trust our surgeon will know what to be do when he/she peers down into the hole he/she made in us, even though we had to sign a waiver to get them to do it. We believe what is printed on food labels in the store so we buy it expecting just that many calories and carbs. Faith in these kinds of things is common; action based on this kind of faith is prevalent.
Uncommon Faith. It is rare indeed and most uncommon to find someone who deliberately puts complete faith in the character of God as He is revealed in His Word. For support over dangerous streams or steep gullies they trust in promised angels, not manmade bridges. They board boats, trains, and planes and drive cars confident of the travelling mercies for which they have prayed. Their healthcare system rests on the Great Physician rather than the best care money can buy. They consider their bodies to be Temples of the Holy Spirit, designed to be cared for through faithful obedience to the One who designed the body and supplies to it an abundant life. Faith in these kinds of things is altogether too uncommon and action based this kind of faith is altogether too rare.
Let us be the exception.
Let us be people who believe the true report summarized so beautifully in Isaiah 53:
- Jesus was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities.
- As the Virgin-born Sin Bearer with no sin of His own Jesus has borne our sins far away.
- The perfect One has healed us inside and out.
- He has revealed the face of God to us even though we once hid our faces from Him.
We have believed the entire report of Scripture as the ancient Christian confession states:
- Christ has died.
- Christ has risen.
- Christ will come again.
Faith is believing.
Because we believe in Jesus, we can be fearless and free to go anywhere He sends us and do anything He asks us to do. Jesus has us in His strong, resurrected arms. No power can overpower Him. No enemy can defeat this Mighty Warrior. All of God’s promises are true. He is the object of our faith. Most people place their faith in roads, bridges, and other drivers. They beleive in airplanes, food labels, and in all manner of precarious promises. Everyday life mixes people of the common faith and prevalent behavior patterns with those who live by uncommon faith in God and behave in ways consistent with His instructions. Let us be on the lookout today for someone who is ready to hear about a higher faith. May our joy and productivity reveal the object of our faith–Jesus!
This faith and these behaviors may be uncommon and rare, but this is the faith for which every human heart longs.
Hebrews 11:1; 12:1-3
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see…Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
“The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
1 John 5:3-5
This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of the faith.
… faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Luke 17:6; 18:8
…If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?
2 Corinthians 5:7
We live by faith, not by sight.
For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Lord Jesus, let faith arise in my heart. Let it propel me into this day with confidence. You are my faith and shield. You hem me in behind and before and I feel Your hand on me this minute. As the fiery darts of the enemy come my way today, my shield of faith quenches their puny flames. Faith in Your name which is the name above all names, propels my every step toward victory. Let my faith in You be the warmth in my touch, the tenderness in my voice and the peace in personality. Faith is the victory! In You, Lord Jesus! Amen.
Faith Is the Victory
Words: John H. Yates; Music: Ira D. Sankey
1. Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers rise,
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies;
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled;
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.
Faith is the victory!
Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory,
That overcomes the world.
2. His banner over us is love,
Our sword the Word of God;
We tread the road the saints before
With shouts of triumph trod.
By faith, they like a whirlwind’s breath,
Swept on o’er every field;
The faith by which they conquered death
Is still our shining shield.
3. On every hand the foe we find
Drawn up in dread array;
Let tents of ease be left behind,
And onward to the fray.
Salvation’s helmet on each head,
With truth all girt about,
The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,
And echo with our shout.
4. To him that overcomes the foe,
White raiment shall be giv’n;
Before the angels he shall know
His name confessed in heav’n;
Then onward from the hills of light,
Our hearts with love aflame,
We’ll vanquish all the hosts of night,
In Jesus’ conqu’ring name.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved