Faith. How many sermons, how many lessons or studies have you had on on this subject?
The usual definition of faith is given in Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen. (KJV)
Or if you prefer:
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (NIV)
So we could say there is that element of “hope” where faith is concerned, not just wishing but hope that is sure and certain. Now to the question in the title—What color is faith? Let me ask you this—what color do you see here?
Blue of course, but as you see there are different shades of blue—navy, aqua, true blue, sky blue. So it is with shades of faith. Hope is one shade of faith.
When Moses and the children of Israel were in the desert, they had an episode of victory over an enemy. The victory went to their heads and they felt emboldened to complain (as did their forefathers) about the manna, Gods’s very provision for them. Not only that:
…the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Numbers 21:4-5
Direct blaspheme against God could not be tolerated. God chose to send venomous snakes among them. When the snakes bit the people, many died. Finally, they came to Moses and confessed that they had sinned. They said,
“Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” Numbers 21:7
Moses did pray and God asked Moses to do a strange thing.
“Make a snake and put it on a pole; anyone who has been bitten can look at it and live.” Numbers 21:8
Strange. Making images of people or animals had been strictly forbidden. This required great faith on their part and trust that Moses had this thing right.
Ah, another shade of faith, namely “trust.” Sure enough, if they were bitten, Moses lifted up the bronze snake and if they looked at it, they lived.
Fast forward centuries later to a night when Jesus had a private conversation with Nicodemus, the Pharisee. In the conversation, Jesus said,
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, [that detestable, deadly snake] so the Son of Man must be lifted up, [on that detestable, deadly cross] that everyone who believes in him [truly looks toward him in faith] may have eternal life. John 3:14-15
Thus the deepest shade of faith—belief. And Jesus offers, not just life from a snake bite, but eternal life.
So there’s our shades of faith—hope, trust, belief. In keeping with our recent theme of gazing, not just glimpsing at God, I leave you with another quote from Tozer:
“We learn that faith is not a once-done act, but a continuous gaze of the heart at the Triune God.”
~ Joyce ~