What is the kind of faith that impresses Jesus? There is a real misunderstanding about this today. Faith is not “believing God will do what I want Him to do.” That’s what you hear today from a lot of TV preachers: “Oh, just believe, believe, believe. If you believe hard enough and say it loud enough and long enough, then God will do it.” That’s what they say faith is, just conjuring up this positive attitude: “God is going to do what I want Him to do. I think He can; I think He can; I think He can.” That is not faith. That is presumption.
Faith is believing God will do what He has promised to do and then acting accordingly. What has God promised to do? Well, God has promised that “it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). So faith means living every day of my life as if it were my last day. Faith is living in the realization that one day I am going to face God, because God has promised that there is only one way to escape His judgment, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ.
Faith means trusting in Christ alone to be my Savior, because God has promised to those of us who are Christians that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). Because one day I am going to be judged by God, then faith means investing my life, my time, my energy, and my money in things that will make an eternal difference. Because God has said He has destroyed the power of sin in my life–that sin has no more power over my life than I choose to allow it to have–faith means every day saying no to sin and yes to righteousness. That’s what faith is: believing what God has already promised and then acting accordingly.
We see that kind of faith demonstrated in the words and actions of the Roman centurion of Luke 7. The centurion believed in Jesus’s power to heal the slave. God honors that kind of faith. But what happens in those cases when we have little or no faith? That is the amazing truth I want you to see, and we will see it illustrated in the next encounter that is described in Luke 7. Yes, God honors those who have faith, but sometimes God even blesses those who have little or no faith.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “God Helps Those Who Can’t Help Themselves” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.