I think most of us believe in the goodness of God.
We have seen it in the lives of others or we have experienced ourselves.
We believe that God has capacity to do miraculous work.
We have experienced that first hand or heard others share how God has worked in their life.
I noted last weekend that belief is often thought of the foundation of the Christian life,but it’s the second chapter of James where we read,
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.”
In the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is confronted by a man described as, “possessed by an unclean spirit and it is that spirit that says,
“What do you want with us Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!”
According to the New Testament, even the adversaries of Jesus believe in Him.
Faith is what the scriptures describe as the foundation of the Christian life.
Belief affirms the past.
Faith looks to the future.
Belief celebrates what God has done.
Faith asks us the question, “Can God do it again?”
Romans 4 describes the faith of Abraham in this way,
“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations… He did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
Notice that what belief does for us is important. It is a necessary and wonderful thing to affirm the past and celebrate what God has done.
But out greater challenge is answering the question that faith asks,
Can God do it again?
If God has done a great work in our marriage before, can God do it again in the challenge we are facing right now?
If God has been faithful in bringing me to where I am now, can I trust God to continue to lead me into a future that is unknown?
If I believe that God changed my life, do I trust that God can do the same thing in the life of my child, my close friend, or anyone I might encounter today?
Faith is obedience based on our confidence that we can trust God.
It is an active response.
It is a step we take in obedience to the one who was at work in our past, is now at work in our present moment, and we trust will work for us in whatever our future might bring.
Faith is the way we say, “Yes!”
God can and God will do it again.