Faith That Sustains - Ted Winsley

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” —John 5:24-25

 

There are various types of faith. Many have natural faith—believing what they think or experience to be true. Others have faith in faith itself—believing that whatever they think is true is true for them. This kind of faith has some power behind it; we can drive ourselves to work hard towards what we believe will happen and from that we see results. But there’s a big problem with this type of faith. What happens when what you believe to be true doesn’t come to be?

 

The faith that stands firm is faith placed in God. And though there will be times in life when you believe God is going to do something but you don’t see it happen, God is still God. His is always faithful and His Word is always true. Faith in God declares: “I believe the Word of God to be true whether I experience the full results of what I believe to be true in my lifetime or not. My position (what I do) and my disposition (how I behave) remain the same because I put my faith in who I have, not what I have.”

 

“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” —Hebrews 11:3

 

Faith is believing that what you can’t see right now will come into existence. Sometimes we see these results during our lifetime and sometimes we don’t. The problem comes in  when we read this verse without continuing to hear the whole story. The amazing thing is that even Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham—these great men of faith—didn’t always see the results of their faithfulness!

 

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.” —Hebrews 11:13

 

These men died without having received the tangible results of their faith; they were sustained by their trust in God alone. The reality is that there are times when we will put our faith in God but won’t experience the full manifestation of what we believe, but Scripture tells us that God will sustain us whether we get what we hope for or not.

 

After Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand, many came back looking for Him, hungry for more of his signs.

 

“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, you are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.’” —John 6:26

 

If we aren’t careful, we will be tempted to follow God not because He’s God, but because He gave us a fish sandwich and we want another one. God desires to have a relationship with us; it’s crucial that we make our faith in God our foundation, knowing that He alone will sustain us. You may have been given a phenomenal platform on this earth to share God’s love, but you cannot get caught up in the blessings of this life only; they will not last forever—God will.

 

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” —John 6:51

 

—Pastor Ted Winsley, chaplain of the Philadelphia Eagles

 

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