For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17, NIV)
We walk with Jesus by faith.
The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:17 that our faith is from first to last – from our confession of Jesus as Lord until we pass into eternity to see Him.
Between those two events, we live by faith.
We don’t have a choice because God insists that “the righteous will live by faith.” I sometimes want to take a break from faith, relax a bit, and take some time off. Not that rest isn’t needed, but God sets my agenda.
When I was a pastor for 49 years, I would plan a retreat, vacation, or time of study, and invariably there would be an emergency. I couldn’t say to God and others, “Excuse me if I don’t respond for two weeks until I’m rested and ready.”
This brings me to my point about faith. When we live by faith, our plans, desires, and intentions will often be interrupted by God’s better plans, desires, and intentions for us. When this happens, we trust Him.
Faith without trusting God with our daily lives leads to unbearable anxiety.
Trust is key to developing faith.
I was on a plane talking to an atheist once about faith.
He ridiculed my faith as being “wishful thinking.” He wondered how I could believe in something that I couldn’t see. I responded by asking him if his wife loved him. He didn’t expect this question and warily answered, “Yes!”
I then said, “You are now on a business trip. Do you constantly worry about your wife having an affair while you are gone?” He said, “No, I’m never concerned about that because she loves me.”
I said, “That’s how I grow in my faith with Jesus. I can’t see Him at this moment, but I know He loves me.”
He had an incredulous look and asked me, “How do you know Jesus loves you?”
“Well,” I said, “Besides the fact that He died for me, I ask Him to do things, and He does them, and He asks me to do things, and I do them.” I explained that I learned to trust Jesus this way. And because of my experience in trusting Jesus, when I have difficulty, I have peace.
I don’t think I convinced the atheist on the plane and perhaps confused him even more.
But it has been true for me.
I ask God to do things, and He does them, and He asks me to do things, and I do them. I grow in faith by trusting that I can talk to God about anything and that when something happens in my life – He is in charge.
I challenge you to grow in faith this week by trusting God.
Ask Jesus to give you an assignment this week or make a specific (and tested) request. Faith may be difficult to understand, but we know when we trust someone.
Only trust in Jesus will give us peace.
Faith – from first to last!