"Faith Comes First!"
Faith is essential
to succeeding in this life as much as it is essential to our quest for
eternal life. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible
to please him: for he that cometh to God must first believe that he
is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
When we do not exercise faith in God's word, we further remove ourselves
from any possibility of pleasing God, and when we stop pleasing God,
we become more susceptible to failure and losing the peace that only
He can give! God is able to give us peace in the midst of confusion
and joy in the midst of sorrow.
In times of crisis and great
tribulations our faith gets sorely tested. It gets tested through making
us disbelieve that we can do the will of God in the face of all that
is going on around us. In Mark 4:36-41, we know that Jesus's disciples
were in extreme terror and fear for their lives while Jesus slept down
in the bottom of the ship as the storm was raging. When they went down
to the bottom of the ship, they asked Jesus, "carest thou not that
we perish?" How can you lie there asleep, awake! Then Jesus said
in Matthew 8:26, "Oh ye of little faith." Then Jesus got up
and rebuked the wind and the sea by saying, "Peace be still."
Then the wind ceased and the storm stopped raging.
Someone must speak the word
of God with authority and power to help increase our faith when our
faith is low. The scriptures tell us in Romans 10:17, "so then
faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." We have
to know that God has both an order and a plan for our lives. If we submit
and subject ourselves to God's
There are also wonderful
byproducts of faith not the least of which is set forth in Romans 5:1-2,
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith
into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of
God." So faith gives us that peace and access into the richness
of God's Grace!
The point of this message
is that faith has to be a part of our everyday existence. In Luke 18:8,
Jesus asked the question that when he returned, "would he find
any faith upon the earth?" Even as Jesus prayed for his disciples,
I pray for the members of Atlanta's congregation that our faith will
not fail us in this perilous time of war and economic downturns. Our
faith must move us to take action knowing that God has given us both
a purpose and a work to do that is to his glory, honor and praise. We
walk by faith because we love God. Why do we love God so much? It is
because He first loved us!