A Faith For These Days
In Hebrews 11:1. we are told that
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
It is interesting to note that the word "evidence" is also used in the Bible to mean the title deed to land, as for example, in Jeremiah 32:8‑14. Therefore, we might say that faith is the title deed by which you get the right to claim the things you hope for. Now faith is belief, but belief in WHAT? The worshipers of Baal and Moloch had faith, but in the wrong things. It is not enough just to believe, WHAT MUST YOU BELIEVE? ALL OF GOD'S PROMISES!
Faith is taking God at His word, and thereby getting that which He promised. For example, it applies to your SALVATION. If you take God at His word, you are free from your burden of sins NOW. There's no uncertainty about it, no need to wait and see what happens. BELIEVE NOW, and you know the joy of salvation NOW. If you don't believe, you labor under the awful burden of your sins, not because God withheld relief, but because you didn't accept what He offered.
God never asked man to believe anything unreasonable: He always gave proofs beforehand, enough to convince any reasonable man. God foretold the plagues He would bring on the Egyptians, then did it; after that, He told the Israelites to march to the Promised Land. He used fulfilled prophecy to demonstrate the complete reliability of His word.
In Isaiah 48:3‑5, He said,
"I have declared the former things from the beginning: and they went forth from My mouth, and I showed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew, and thy brow brass; I have even from the beginning declared it to thee: before it came to pass, I showed It thee."
In the New Testament, 2 Peter 1:19 reminds us
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arises in your hearts", and in 1 Corinthians 14:22, Paul tells us, "Therefore, (speaking in) tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not; but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe."
Jesus Christ Himself said,
"Now I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am He."
John 13:19. The whole 11th chapter of Hebrews is filled with examples of those whose faith was triumphant: ABEL, God rewarded his faith with justification; ENOCH, by his faith, he was translated away from those that would kill him; NOAH, by believing and acting upon his faith, he and his family were saved from death; ABRAHAM, who, because of his faith, received a son when both he and his wife were very old; MOSES, by his faith, was able to lead his people safely through the plagues of Egypt, through the waters of the Red Sea and the forty years in the desert; JOSHUA, who believed God, marched around Jericho seven days, then blew the ram's horn trumpet and the walls fell.
But note this: faith always blows the ram's horn BEFORE the walls fall; Noah built the ark years before there was any flood in sight. It is like a checker game. God makes His move when He offers you His blessings: salvation, healing, deliverance from dangers, etc. THEN IT IS YOUR MOVE: BELIEVE HIM, EXPECT HIM TO FULFILL HIS PROMISES; don't say, "Lord, I don't think I can trust you: I'll have to wait and see." BELIEVE HIM: then it will again be His move, AND HE WILL DO IT. Christ Himself said, "According to your faith be it unto you."
FAITH IS FOR THESE DAYS, NOT FOR "THE SWEET BY AND BY." Present material salvation, as well as spiritual, was given to those who BELIEVED. NOAH and his family escaped drowning; ENOCH escaped death altogether; MOSES led his people dry‑shod through the Red Sea, then was given food and drink for all that multitude in a barren desert, and was given great military victories; JOSHUA was promised military victories over "seven nations mightier than thou" he BELIEVED, and so HE GOT THEM. And think of the many who were healed of all manner of diseases.
Today, we are in peril of death from atomic attacks, germ warfare, etc. Why don't we, as a nation rely upon God's promises of deliverance? In Isaiah 54:15‑17, God said
"Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by Me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of Me, saith the Lord."
The 91st, Psalm promises
"Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor or the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling."
And God says,
"Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My Name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I shall be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation."
What can Russia and China with any number of atom bombs, do against the power of God?
Should we fear the epidemics which we are told are threatening us? Why don't all the churches offer their people God's healing? In our Church we have many, many times demonstrated the power of God to heal, yes, and His willingness to heal, as He has promised.
God's promises are still ours for the asking, IF WE HAVE FAITH. They are real; don't limit them by "spiritualizing" them away. He took upon Himself the material body of a man, and walked this material earth in the form of Jesus Christ, making to material men His promises of help when needed; help as great as our need.
He told us
"Verily, verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name He will give it you. Hitherto ye have asked nothing In My name: ASK AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL."
John 16:23‑24. So in 1 John the 5th, chapter, we are told,
"For whatsoever Is born of God overcometh the world; AND THIS IS THE VICTORY THAT OVERCOMETH THE WORLD, EVEN OUR FAITH. And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: and if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him."
Why should we fear the terrible international convulsions of the last days, now just ahead of us? We are told in advance of these things just so we would not fear them, but know that these things are the fulfillment of God's prophecies, and the signs of the dawn to follow. In these times, to compromise with evil is literally suicide, for when we abandon right and justice we lose God's protection, and yet our enemies still hate us just as much as ever.
This is the time for boldness for the right, not cowardly surrender. Certainly the war of all organized evil against the remnant of good will come, and that right soon. Don't pray that these things shall not happen, that is not praying "according to His will, for
He prophesied this. PRAY THAT THEY SHALL NOT HAPPEN TO YOU. Pray for health, security, victory;
"As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began: THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED FROM OUR ENEMIES, AND FROM THE HAND OF ALL THAT HATE US: To PERFORM THE MERCY PROMISED To OUR FATHERS, AND To REMEMBER HIS HOLY COVENANT: the oath which He swore to our father Abraham, THAT HE WOULD GRANT UNTO US, THAT WE BEING DELIVERED OUT OF THE HAND OF OUR ENEMIES, MIGHT SERVE HIM WITHOUT FEAR, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life." (Luke 1:70-75)
PRAY FOR THIS, AND BELIEVE IT, AND YOU WILL RECEIVE IT! (Taken, in part, from a study entitled “A Faith For These Days,” by Bertrand L. Comparet)