Posts Tagged ‘Romans 10:17’

Faith is a journey

April 24, 2017

Within the past several weeks, a number of Quotes of the Day as well as Verses of the Day have focused on faith. In addition, faith continues to be a topic of importance in that Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC has been teaching a series related to faith. From the series a metaphor emerged which described “faith as a journey.”

In addition, I discussed a related quote “Faith is a journey; when you start, you can’t quit.” Bishop Mellette also make the following statements to corroborate this point:

“Faith is not an experience—Faith is a journey. . . Your faith is coming and growing,” as he also shared 2 Thessalonians 1:3:

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other,

He also shared Romans 10:17:

17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

He went on to say, “Your faith grows exceedingly—Faith is progressive . . . It involves a process. It is ongoing. God is not your previous experience. . . God is your new beginning, as we are living our faith every day.”

In a previous blog post on faith, I commented on the significance of faith in my life as a believer, as I recalled that my first Bible teaching shared at a Youth Night service at a church camp in high school centered on faith, as I explored Hebrews 11:1, and verse 6. More than 50 years later when I was required to write my personal testimony to share with students whom I taught at Indiana Wesleyan University, I entitled my sharing “My Journey of Faith”

One of Bishop Mellette’s teachings related specifically to “Faith as a journey” and inspired the following poem:

 On Our Journey . . . The Journey Continues

May we see clearly where our paths have led

And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

“Strengthened for the Journey”

 

“And now I cause you to begin even a new journey. . .

The journey has already begun.”

Apostle John Tetsola

 

We are steadfast– our souls remain anchored in hope,

Eagerly watching and waiting, looking above.

Feeling during dark times that we can barely cope,

But seasons swiftly change, for we have come to know

Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.

Despite appearances, God has the last say so.

Once more we seek to serve, to go where we are sent

That our lives should reflect the praise of His glory,

The finishing touch on your crowning achievement:

The surprise happy ending of this love story

When all creation finally gets back to being one,

Even as with Father, Holy Spirit, and Son.

The perfect will of God unfolds for all to see,

As we begin each new day on our journey.

Recently while developing an online American Literature course for Carolina College of Biblical Studies, I incorporated the same metaphor: “Life is a journey of discovery,” as a theme revealed in a variety of literary works by American authors. Students also explore their personal feelings, thoughts, and reactions evoked from the various readings as they intersect with each individual’s quest to find his or her personal identity.

The course points out one of the universal concerns of humanity is the quest for identity. Every individual seeks to find out “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is my purpose in life?” Life can be viewed as a “Journey of Faith,” the  quest to discover our true identity as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In thinking about this concept, a meaningful song comes to mind to remind us to take joy in each phase of our ongoing journey of discovery.

Michael Card offers “Joy in the Journey”:

Back to the first word: Faith

July 26, 2015

Hebrews 11--1,6The Verse of the Day for July 26, 2015 offers a definition of faith, as expressed in Hebrews 11:1 (NLT):

[ Great Examples of Faith ] Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Faith continues to be a topic of personal importance, especially during the challenging times in which we live. Often when confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, I recall a statement made by Apostle John Tetsola: —“When you are in a difficult situation, go back to the first word; it still works.” For me, recalling “the first word” takes my mind back to 1957 at a Wednesday night teaching at Youth Night at Camp Gray in Saugatuck, MI. During this time I volunteered to teach the youth, and I put together my first teaching. The subject that I selected was “Faith,” and I remember using Hebrews 11:1, 6 in the King James Version:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

A few years ago, I was asked what faith means to me, and I crafted a kind of statement of faith. Here is an excerpt from a blog entry where I offer an extended definition of faith:

To build a magnificent mansion that will last a lifetime, the builders must beginning with a solid foundation. Similarly, to build a purposeful life of success and fulfillment, we must establish a firm foundation upon which we build. For the Christian believer faith is the bedrock of life. Faith is defined as confident assurance, trust and conviction that those who trust in God will prevail. Faith–“the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”– operates beyond what we see, for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Faith is a Sine qua non—that without which there is nothing. Faith is the indispensable ingredient in a successful Christian life. The Scriptures remind us that “Without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

In the midst thundering echoes of “No!” faith says “Yes!” Voices shout “You can’t” but faith proclaims “I can and I will!” At the point of total exhaustion, faith says, “Take one more step.” After more failed attempts than you can number, faith gives you courage to try one more time. Faith is tenacious—you hold on and never give up. Although the diagnosis, bank statement or other evidence says “No way!” faith responds with “God will make a way.”

In terms of illustrations of faith, we find excellent examples from the Bible. We begin with Abraham, “the father of faith,” who did not stagger at the promise of God that he should become the father of many nations, with descendants without number. Despite the circumstances of this hundred-year-old man with a barren wife of comparable age, Abraham grew strong and was empowered by faith. Hebrews 11 recounts the triumphs of men and women of faith in what has become known as the “Hall of Faith.”

Aside from the Bible, we can glean from the lives of great men and women who achieved impossible dreams. Despite a barrage of reasons why they would fail, they transformed failure into success. A notable example is the Wright Brothers, who persevered in faith to accomplish the impossible. We are also surrounded by “real heroes” who live by faith each day to make a difference.

Without faith it is impossible . . . but with faith, the impossible becomes possible. Indeed, for believers, faith is our solid foundation. Like the wise man who built his house on the rock, when the storms of life approach, if we have laid a firm foundation, the house that we build will stand, for faith is the Christian’s sure foundation.

This morning as I was praying and meditating on the topic of faith, I thought of a particular poem written four years ago that ministered to me, as I was being strengthened and encouraged in my faith again.

  The Song of Faith

   Faith is a bird that feels the light

   And sings while the dawn is still dark.

    Anonymous

 

   So then, faith comes by hearing,

  And hearing by the Word of God

 Romans 10:17

Like hope, faith is a thing with feathers, a rare songbird,

Feeling the light long before the daybreak has occurred.

Faith takes flight and sings on the wing, even in the dark.

The distinctive melody of the soaring skylark

Ascends to greet the promise of a new day dawning

With refrains of its song in the night sung in the morning.

Light penetrates threatening storm clouds of dawn’s first ray,

As faith loudly sings “Yes!” when the world clamors “No way!”

Now without faith it is impossible to please Him.

Though the Word was preached to us as well as unto them,

Defiled by unbelief, they did not pass the test;

Though on the verge, they did not enter into God’s rest.

God’s Word encourages believers to have no fear,

For you cannot sing the song of faith if you do not hear.

The Maranatha Praise Band offers a spirited song “I Walk by Faith.”