Walking through my grandmother’s flower garden tour is one of my summer highlights. Each year she spends countless hours perfecting her beautiful flower beds. New additions of varieties and color, laden with her crafty touches leaves no bed untouched. Weeding, watering and pruning are another feet. Thinking of each variety and color with every bloom showing off brightly in each flower bed; brings me back to faith.
Faith that God created everything.
Faith that God said it was perfect.
Faith that God created it for His glory.
Faith that He loves us even more.
Soaking in each vibrant color and its magnificent beauty; each but a simple stroke of a much larger canvas. God is AMAZING! God’s handy work on display. Oh, the beauty we display in our lives when we allow God’s handy work.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Faith in our lives may bring us to believe things we cannot see. Greater is that faith that is in the unseen, than the faith of things we know will come and be seen. Yet, works such as these are merely a product of our faith.
“Yes, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” James 2:18
Prayers we pray, acts of kindness towards strangers, dedicated hours of service to better the lives of others, love we display, relationships smothered with grace and forgiveness, each portion of our life we strive to make more Holy; these are ALL just a few of the works we display because of our faith.
So where does this faith reside? What festers to create these beautiful acts of love and faith on display? With Christ’s complete, everlasting, deep and sincere love; we can obtain this unshakeable strong enduring faith.
Hebrews 11:1-40 is a small tidbit from our 66 books speaking of this kind of faith- on display. It is packed full of wisdom on faith.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 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. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.“
*Let’s look at (5) key characteristics of an everlasting strong display of faith!*
- Assurance-Faith itself is a visual display of belief in something unseen. (vs1) And there is a difference between the things made and “framed” in by God in comparison to the things that appear. (vs3). A lasting faith gives power to believe in things unseen from the things which can be seen. We have assurance of God’s promises, we can have that firm continual confidence in God! (Not just for salvation- but daily.)
2. An Obedient and Sacrificial Lifestyle- True character of faith gives God the best, our first portion. Although obedience often goes against “the grain” or modern culture and sometimes family life, our test of faith is wanting to truly obey God first. (vs4 & vs7)
3. Trusts- Displaying our faith does not require understanding. Noah never saw it rain, but he built the ark anyways. We do not have to see the big picture or know the outcome, just the one leading us and our footsteps. Trusting God when we do not understand or know it is merely “impossible” is display of faith and character. (vs8,11,13,19)
4. Pleases God and Fears God- Enoch “…he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” was known by his testimony, just as we are today. Does our walk “match” our talk? (vs5, 6, 24-29, 31) A strong faith is grounded in God. Fears God’s power, but understands that same power is our help in time of need and calling.
5. Does not seek temporal pleasures. True, strong, faith desires God over the pleasures of this world. (Sin in particular) Faith stands strong and firm when temptation comes. (vs25-26)
As you see faith is available to everyone, but it needs an anchor. An object. Our faith must be in something or someone to be strong. As flowers bloom and fade, so do the things of this life. Thankfully, our belief and faith in Christ does not have to. In fact it can grow stronger, as it should. If we will just put our faith in God, HE will NOT let us down. He is our true God and creator. The master of all things, including each blossom of this flower bed. And although one flower is breathtaking in of itself, look at the beauty it holds together. As our faith is to our Lord and savior. As our faith blooms and grows, the beauty of it’s display to the world does as well.
Ladies, let us have faith that moves mountains, stands strong and pleases our Lord!