KEEPING THE FAITH, FROM BEGINNING TO END

As a youngster in Sunday School, the superintendent would consistently ask the question, “what is faith?”
He gave an answer that to me as a child had no meaning. Over the years the definition remained with me, but until I came to know Jesus personally, it was just words.
As believers in Jesus Christ, our faith has a beginning and an end. Once a person’s faith has been destroyed, their salvation can go right along with it. God said that the just shall live by faith. Which essentially means we live by principles that we can not see, hear or even feel. Our faith in Jesus rests on someone we have never seen, but believe that he exist. The Bible says in I Peter 1:8 that ” Though you have not seen him, you love him.” I Peter also says that the end of our faith is the salvation of our souls.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” True faith consist of believing you already have something even though you have no physical proof of it. In the book of Hebrews it states that we understand the world was framed by the word of God; for we believe that God spoke the world into existence out of nothing. Faith in what God has said has nothing to do with what you see, it is what you believe.
As Christians, we look forward to eternal life, but we also believe is’s already ours; and that the only thing that stands between us possessing eternal life is the passage of time.
Faith is active. There will be times as a believer we will have to act upon what we believe. Prayer is an exercise of our faith in God: for when we pray believe that Jesus Christ will answer our prayer according to his will. It is useless to pray if we don’t believe that Jesus hears us or if we have a negative attitude toward prayer. We must believe the things which we ask in prayer as though they are already done.
Many times there are obstacles to exercising our faith. The man who was crippled and bed-ridden had friends who were supportive of his desire to walk. If this man had friends who opposed him, it would have been harder for him to get what he wanted from God. These friends were so supportive that they were willing to open the roof to the house and lower him in so that he could touch Jesus.(Luke 5:20) They could have been the kind of “friends” who said, “oh well you have been crippled all your life, why do you care now?”
One can not even be saved without faith; for it says in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must first believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
If you walk with Christ long enough your faith will be tested. Before our Lord was crucified, he told Peter, the Apostle, “Satan desires to have you that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” The Lord knew that Peter’s faith was going to be greatly tried, but his prayer for him delivered him from what Satan had designed for him. How wonderful to know that God himself had prayed for you! No one knows how precious their faith is until it is tested and almost destroyed by a situation, a disappointment, an individual, a life-shattering event. Paul spoke of some teachers and preachers that caused people’s faith to be shipwrecked or ruined; how? through false teaching. (I Timothy 1:19,II Timothy 2:18)
Hebrews 12:2 says we are to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. If Jesus began it, he can finish it. The Apostle Paul told Timothy in one of his last letters, ” I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord , the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (II Timothy 4:7,8)

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