What does faith look like?

Hebrews 11:13 (NIV)
 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

opened bible on wooden surfaca
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They did not receive the things promised

What does faith look like?

  • Does it look like a faith that says I’m holding on because the answer to my prayers is just right around the corner?
  • Or a faith that says God answered my prayer last time and He will answer it this time?

Isn’t it contradictory that we equate trust with getting what we want and God always answering our prayers?

Hebrews 11 talks about some who never received the things promised. The faith they embodied said even if I don’t get it I will trust God. Whereas most of the faith I hear people talking about these days is all about hanging in there because your answer, deliverance, provision, or whatever you’re expecting by faith is just around the corner.

Is that really faith?

Is that the kind of faith I want?

I’m not sure it is.

I don’t think that’s the kind of faith that gets you through the difficult times. That’s the kind of faith that eventually gets angry at God because you didn’t get the outcome you expected.

I want the kind of faith that says God is faithful even if He doesn’t answer my prayer the way I think He should because I know He is being faithful to what He knows is best for me. He is all knowing, all powerful, and loves me more than I can imagine so I will trust in Him.

So how can we have that kind of faith?

Strength in Christ not in things

Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Paul says that sometimes he had what he needed and sometimes he didn’t

This meant there were times his prayers for provision went unmet.

It didn’t matter to Paul if some prayers went unanswered here because his hope was not in those things, it was in Christ who gave him strength.

Answered prayers or more of Christ?

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 (NIV) Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

When our prayers go unanswered they test our faith and where our faith comes from.

Paul prayed that God would remove something that was hindering him more than likely physically, but God said no. Actually, He said something better.

He said you get more of me.

If our hope is grounded in Jesus, unanswered prayers will just give us boasting power. We gladly boast in Christ not answered prayers.

And when our hope is in Christ and when we love Christ, unanswered prayers just mean we get to experience Him even more.

Let’s walk by faith not answered prayers

Let’s walk by faith and not by sight. Let’s walk with a faith that says my trust not weakened if my prayers go unanswered because my hope is in Christ.


6 thoughts on “What does faith look like?

  1. Excellent post and the exact essence of faith spelled out. There are a lot of things that we won’t realize until we are face to face with Jesus but the journey we begin here prepares us for the transition. Abraham believed God, he took God at His word, in spite of, not because of having realized. That is the hope that we have and it is based on trust that is developed in Him through our walk. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely, Bruce. We have to get past needing to see.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Walking each and every moment in faith and knowing God is with me. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great word. I love how this verse pops up right in the middle of the writer’s reflections on the life of Abraham–a man whom God renamed “the father of a multitude” but who died while still wandering as a nomad, never “owned” the land God promised him, and did not see most of God’s promises to him. Yet, thanks to his faith in God and faithfulness to Him, all of us who have been blessed through his Seed (Jesus) can look to him as the father of our faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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