THE FOUNDATION OF FAITH

Hebrews 11:1-2, 6 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation … And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
Last week we looked at:
Having faith
Being faith-filled
Being faith-fueled

Romans 12:11 “Don’t burnout, keep yourself fueled and aflame … cheerfully expectant” (The Message Version)
We looked at living with a “deep assurance” as well as a “solid convictio”n both rooted in our faith towards God
These verses tell us that it was Israel’s faith that made them different than the other nations
Distinguished them from all other peoples and the same for us today
And that our faith in God and who He is pleases Him
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who give all their passion and strength into seeking him.” (The Passion Translation)
The key then is to come to Him in faith
Knowing that He exists
Understanding and deeply aware that He is a ‘good God’
Grasping that as we trust in Him, He will reward us
The second key is that we need to passionately seek to know Him better and in a deeper way
“…draw near to God” (ESV)
“… those who passionately seek Him”
When we seek Him with our whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13)
When we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37)
When He is our first love (Revelation 2:4)
When we are seeking first His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33)
When we are seriously passionate about Him and deeply long to know Him more…
Then we live with that ‘full assurance’
Then we have that ‘deep conviction’
And, we can do all this and receive that assurance and conviction because:
God loves us and sent His Son to die for us paying the penalty for our sins (John 3:16)
Removing that sin barrier that was between us and Him (Romans 5:1)
Giving us the gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23b)
The supernatural ability to have a personal relationship with Him (John 17:3)
However, we must passionately pursue to know Him more and love Him more…. Work with that gift that He has given to us
Then He rewards us with a deeper revelation of Himself
The definition of faith:
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of what is not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is taking God at His Word, believing it is true, even when we have questions
Faith is knowing God causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28)
Faith is knowing that God hears and answers prayers (1 John 5:14-15)
Faith defies reason – does not always make sense
Abraham leaving home and not knowing the destination
Joshua and his people walking around Jericho every day for a week
Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water
Faith grows through hearing a personal word from the Lord – Rhema word (Romans 10:17)
Faith means moving ahead and being positive even when things go wrong
Singing and praising God in prison (Acts 16:25)
When we are having major troubles (Romans 5:3)
When we are being treated badly (Hebrews 11:25)
Faith accepts whatever we are going through as part of God’s will (Philippians 1:12)
We are the righteous because we have been forgiven and born again
And the Bible states, “The righteous shall live by faith”
(Habakkuk 2:1-5; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:10-11; Hebrews 10:38)
Faith is how we are to live – confident in God – relying on Him and His wisdom and guidance
Non-believers live by their own self-sufficiency and wisdom
Faith is seriously important in the life of the believer
You cannot be saved without faith – Galatians 2:8-9
You cannot live victoriously over the ways of the world without faith – 1 John 5:4
You cannot please God without faith – Hebrews 11:6
You cannot pray effectively without faith – James 1:6
You cannot have peace with God without faith – Romans 5:1
You cannot have real joy without faith – 1 Peter 1:8
You are justified by faith not works – Galatians 2:16
You are to live by faith – Galatians 2:20
You are made righteous by faith – Romans 10:1-4
Christ dwells in your heart by faith – Ephesians 3:17
The Holy Spirit baptism is received by faith – Galatians 3:2
We are sanctified by faith – Acts 26:18
We are forgiven by faith – Mark 2:5
Faith keeps us right with God – Romans 5:1
Faith waits on God believing – Isaiah 40:31
Faith always wins – 1 John 5:4
Whatever is not of faith is sin – Romans 14:23 (fear, anxiety, worry)
Faith never gives up – Hebrews 11:32-39
Faith will be tested – 1 Peter 1:7
“Faith does not make anything easy, but it does make all things possible.”
Faith says: “God is working in my life; working out His perfect will for me. I don’t need to understand. I can walk, endure, suffer with peace and joy because my eyes are on Jesus and I believe in God and His goodness”
Two main keys that I can see:
1> Wrong focus – We tend to have faith for something instead of “in Someone”
We are believing for a healing
We are believing that a loved one will get saved
This is the wrong focus – faith is not a ‘tool’ to get something or receive something from God
We are to seek God and have faith in God because He is and because of who He is
Believing in:
His will
His plan
His purpose
His timing
Even if we don’t know all those things … believing God is in control and everything is “Father-Filtered”
So, a for instance, praying for healing for someone
I am not applying my faith to the healing
I am believing (having faith) that God heals
That God loves
That God saves
That God is God and nothing is impossible for Him
Example: The four friends and the paralyzed man (Mark 2:1-12)
Seeking out Jesus – we assume ‘for a healing’ but…
So believe that God is the Healer – Jesus is the Great Physician…
Then hope abounds
Then we have this assurance
Confidence increases
We see boldness rising from within us to pray with even more certainty because we know God better due to passionately pursuing Him
The right focus is on God and not the “need” we want or need Him to meet
2> We need to do more than focus – we need to “passionately pursue Him”
Pursue Him – Pursue God
He is not our crisis manager
He is not our ‘sugar daddy’
He is not our best friend
This is so important – just pursuing God for the sake of knowing Him better and in a deeper way
“Our lives are so consumed by the urgent we seldom have time for the important.”
But more than “pursue Him” – do so passionately
We need to abandon ourselves to this task daily
He is the pearl of great price – Matthew 13:45-46 (sell everything)
He is the treasure buried in the field – Matthew 13:44 (diligently search)
He is the King of the Kingdom and ‘first’ – Matthew 6:33
Study together:
John 20:24-29 “One of the twelve wasn’t present when Jesus appeared to them—it was Thomas, whose nickname was “the Twin.” So the disciples informed him, “We have seen the Lord with our own eyes!” Still unconvinced, Thomas replied, “There’s no way I’m going to believe this unless I personally see the wounds of the nails in his hands, touch them with my finger, and put my hand into the wound of his side where he was pierced!” Then eight days later, Thomas and all the others were in the house together. And even though all the doors were locked, Jesus suddenly stood before them! “Peace to you,” he said.Then, looking into Thomas’ eyes, he said, “Put your finger here in the wounds of my hands. Here—put your hand into my wounded side and see for yourself. Thomas, don’t give in to your doubts any longer, just believe!” Then the words spilled out of his heart—“You are my Lord, and you are my God!” Jesus responded, “Thomas, now that you’ve seen me, you believe. But there are those who have never seen me with their eyes but have believed in me with their hearts, and they will be blessed even more!”   (The Passion Translation)
Observations:
He had lost all hope – many in the world today have as well
Jesus did not judge nor condemn
Faith has two sides
The mind / intellect … knowing in your head that God is good and that Jesus is God
The will / volition … surrounding the heart to the sovereignty and control of God
My Lord – Master, Leader
My God – recognizing that coming to know Jesus as Go
Answer together:
Hebrews 11:6 “For we come to God in faith knowing that He is real and that He rewards the faith of those who passionately seek Him”
What does it mean to passionately pursue (seek) God?
To no longer be passive – “the violent take the Kingdom by force”
To remove worldly clutter to make room and time for God
To be intentional
To no longer be lazy and complacent
To slow life down so as not to be live life “overwhelmed”