Across the Pastor’s Desk: Importance of a living faith
Published 8:00 pm Friday, March 10, 2023
Across the Pastor’s Desk by Ryan Quigley
Faith is an interesting concept. It is much more than a simple accent into a belief of a higher power. Faith is not just an adherence to a customary practice or allegiance to a particular religion. As the writer of Hebrews, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, tells us: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the men of old obtained a good report.” — Hebrews 11:1-2.
The author calls it the substance, the evidence of things not seen. For a season in our life, my family lived near a metropolitan area that had a beautiful art district. Within that art district there was a glass bridge that had a clear view of the street below, through the bridge floor. You could always tell the confident and fearless from the rest of those who traversed the bridge. They would walk bravely over it and look down and all around, some would even jump on it. They had complete faith that the bridge and its accompanying glass would hold, and they acted accordingly.
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People of authentic faith will always see the world around them as something else. What might scare some, only inspires those of faith. Hebrews chapter 11 is full of the account of people in the Bible who have acted and lived on faith. They did brave, audacious acts. Some of the acts would seem foolhardy, reckless and even stupidly unconventional. Yet for those who walk in faith, making impossible and even silly choices are the substance that there is a trust in something larger than the ways of man at play.
Charles Thomas Studd (1860-1931) would represent England in international cricket games at the professional level. He would end up graduating from Trinity College in Cambridge in 1883. However, something got a hold of his life. He encountered a life-changing moment when he accepted faith in Jesus Christ. Then in 1885 he would accompany Hudson Taylor as a missionary to China. Doing so caused him to leave behind a prestigious professional cricket career. Around that same time in 1885 C.T. Studd’s father passed away, leaving behind a large fortune at that time for him, which C.T. Studd gave all away for the sake of being utterly dependent upon God. For him, living a life of faith was one that required all of him, and he did not want to be trapped in the things that the world has to offer. For Studd, it was an all or nothing thing. Two quotes that help define him are these: “God’s real people have always been called fanatics,” and “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him.”
The thing that we need to understand about faith is that it gives us a stronger conviction to live for something beyond ourselves. No more do we need to search for meaning. Faith gives our lives its substance.
In Romans chapter 12, once again we see how faith impacts the way we ought to conduct ourselves.
“I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” — Romans 12:1-2.
When we decide to take hold of what Jesus has done, we get to live by faith. The gift of God found in Jesus Christ is so great, that it should impact all areas of our lives. It should impact our priorities, our convictions and our actions. Living for Jesus is something that is done by faith. A substance to our lives that makes no sense. It is evidence of what Christ has done in our lives for the world to see.
May you find your faith in Christ, and may it grow ever stronger!
Ryan Quigley is pastor at Albert Lea Assembly of God.