“Without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6). And then there is this: “And those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8).
Faith is not natural to earthlings.
We want to see, to know, to be certain. We shy away from struggling with nebulous concepts such as belief and doubts, convictions and educated guesses and worrying about whether we have enough faith.
Carl Sagan, the famous astronomer of a generation ago, whose television program “Cosmos” riveted the nation, was firm and outspoken in his atheism. However, his numerous Christian friends witnessed to him and tried to reason with him. One asked his wife, “Doesn’t Carl want to believe?” She answered, “No! He wants to know!”
Reading that many years ago, I remember thinking, “Of course he does. We all do. But God has not set things up that conveniently for us.” Scripture says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” and “We walk by faith, not by sight” (Hebrews 11:6 and 2 Corinthians 5:7).
Faith means we have some evidence but not all evidence, some answers but not as many as we would like, much assurance but with the nagging doubt always lurking in the area.
To act by faith means going with the evidence we have while keeping the unanswered questions alive.
To live by faith means “I believe in God and have confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ” but I do not understand as much as I would like.
Anyone who cannot live by faith is not going to hang around Jesus very long.
Jesus said, “You believe in God; believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
Jesus told people, “Your faith made you well” and “According to your faith be it unto you.”
Jesus could actually see faith, we’re told. (Mark 3:5)
His word says, “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
Scripture says in both the Old and New Testaments, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11).
It’s how God set things up. Too bad if we don’t like it. We may as well not like gravity or despise the rotation of the earth. It’s how the universe operates; we have no choice in the matter.
Why don’t we like to live by faith?
–Living by faith requires us to consider our attitudes and innermost thoughts and motivations, and this is most unpleasant.
–Living by faith means a wrong attitude will negate some action of ours, and we find this offensive.
–Living by faith means I cannot appease my God by a sacrifice and then go out and do as I please. Behavior matters.
–Living by faith means adopting a higher standard for all of life. One’s life motto (or credo) becomes “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
In between two parables on prayer, the Lord Jesus asked, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)
Great question, one each of us must answer for himself.