Genuine faith; do you have it? Do you know what it is? What is having faith? The Merriam-Webster dictionary provides several textbook definitions of faith, all of which are good descriptions of the word itself. But what is the true meaning of faith? While we all have it in one form or another, having genuine faith in God takes the true meaning of “faith” to a whole different level.
Genuine Faith or Textbook Faith? Which is yours.
One definition of faith according to Merriam-Webster is:
- Belief and trust in and loyalty to God.
In Christianity, we often speak of our “faith in Christ” and the importance of that faith. True Christians are faithful in their commitment to and belief in God and his word although as humans, according to Romans 3:23, we ….”all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So if we ALL fall short of the glory of God, how will any of us make it to heaven?
Simple you say? Christ paid the price for all of us. So if we simply believe in Him and the price already paid, our path to heaven is secured. Saying this, believing this, is one of the foundations of Christianity. It is voiced so often, so hard, that to doubt this very basic piece of Christianity is turning our backs on God himself. No true Christian would disagree that Jesus Christ died for our sins and therefore our faith in Him paves our way to heaven.
This being the case why would we, as Christians, neglect to believe and have faith in any other portion of our lives which God has complete control? What do I mean? Keep reading. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast“. In this verse, God explains clearly that we have been saved by GRACE, His grace, NOT by anything we as humans have done or can do. In other words, you could be the best person in the world, the most giving individual, the most caring, compassionate, and devout son, daughter, husband or wife, and yet in the end, without faith in Jesus Christ ALONE, all your good works are meaningless. Who do you depend on for your daily struggles? Who do you depend on for answers to your daily questions? Your own experience and intellect maybe? Google?
The Strength of your Faith Determines How Genuine it is
Obedience to God is an indicator of the strength of your faith. Ouch,,,,,,,,,that one may sting. To have genuine faith means to have a full belief in and complete trust in God. Belief that God has a plan for you and your life and full trust that He is in control of what happens, not you or anything you can, or cannot, do. By trusting in our own feelings, our own desires and wishes, we turn our backs on God.
Who do you turn to in times of indecisiveness? A friend of family member maybe. Who do you turn to in times of financial distress? The bank or a friend for a loan? Who do you turn to in times of sorrow and sadness? A close friend or family member possibly.
Why not ask God? Why not turn to Him for the answer?
We often turn to, what we perceive as, our most immediate resources in times of need. Our family, friends, co-workers, or our own experience. Isn’t it strange that we ignore our closest and most powerful resource and THE one that has the correct answer to every possible issue we could ever face? By ignoring God in our times of need or just in times of needing an answer to just about anything, we prove the strength of, or lack of strength, in our faith.
Genuine Faith Is……………..
What is genuine faith?
Another definition of “Faith” as provided by Merriam-Webster is:
- Firm belief in something for which there is no proof.
While we have plenty of proof of God, this definition is close enough to make a point. We often turn to what to can see, feel, hear, smell, etc., something with visual physical characteristics, to help us in various situations. Genuine faith, real true faith, is knowing without a shadow of a doubt, that God is in control of every aspect of our lives, both good AND bad, and his ultimate plan is good. Perhaps the most powerful bible reading on genuine faith is Psalm 23:
Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
2nd Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight“.
Genuine faith is knowing that God is with us through the good and the bad and will always provide us a path forward. As 1st Corinthians 10:13 states, “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it“.
Have Faith – Trust in God and God Alone
Matthew 21: 21-22 states, “And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith“.”
Who do you turn to frequently? Do you turn to God only at church? Maybe when your back is against the wall and you see no way out of a terrible situation, you THEN turn to God for help.
How about turning to God frequently enough to get true direction in order to stay out of those bad situations. That is faith. That is genuine faith.
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths“.