How To Build A Life of Faith
In life, we often have times when we think, “My life is in shambles! Why is it not working the way I want it to?!” But, perhaps the more accurate question is, “My life feels like it is in shambles right now; am I rooted in and built on the right thing? (thedentalspa) Is my life built on a firm foundation of faith in Jesus or a pile of sand without any substance?” We constantly hear that faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1), but what does that really mean? Studying Genesis and specifically the life of Noah can give us insight that will help us answer this question.
Genesis 6 begins by showing us the heart of God. God’s heart is broken as He sees the world was full of violence and evil. So, He makes the heartbreaking decision to bring a flood that will destroy the earth. But his destruction is not without purpose. God is going to rebuild humanity through a chosen representative that He will rescue from the destruction of the flood. This is where we meet Noah and the “but” that encourages us there is something positive on the other side of God’s disappoint in the prior verses.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” – Genesis 6:8
Noah was a man of courageous faith that walked with God. His life is a case study on how faith radically changes our lives. His story represented a hope of deliverance in a whirlwind of destruction. When God wants to offer deliverance, he does it by grace and through people who respond to him with courageous faith. Because of God’s grace on Noah, He told Noah about the flood and that he needed to build an ark. The thing is, Noah did not just believe in God without action, he believed and acted on the words of God. That defines courageous faith.
So, think, “How courageous is my faith?” Is it courageous like Noah’s to act on the words of God when the whole world thinks you are crazy? What does it take to have a radical, unmoving faith like that?
Let’s dive deeper into the life of Noah to learn how.
The Nature of Courageous Faith
Noah walked by faith because just the words of God stating there was going to be a flood was enough to make him tremble and jump into action. However, the other people chose to follow their own wisdom or what they saw in the present, no rain. They only became fearful and jumped into action once everything started to flood-but it was too late. As a result, they suffered due to a lack of faith.
Hebrews, as referenced previously, shows us there are two ways we gather information we choose to believe:
- We believe the things we see
- We believe in things we do not yet see
Tim Keller made a similar observation about faith. He stated, “When you believe God, you begin to let what God says about reality define your reality instead of what you see or feel. You believe what God says, what he tells you.” Therefore, we can define faith as choosing to believe the words of God over what we feel or see in the present. Remember the verse 2 Corinthians 5:7? “For we walk by faith, not by sight,” so we either choose to walk by our senses or walk by faith.
Many define their lives by their current circumstance rather than their future, leading to much stress, anxiety, and fear. This is not faith. God is not a God of chronic stress, anxiety, or depression. Romans 10:17 tells us that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Real faith is rooted in God’s word and requires us to understand God’s word is our true reality. Therefore, our lives can never reflect truly courageous faith until we let what we see be defined by what God says-but this requires character.
The Character of Courageous Faith
Something happened in Noah that didn’t happen to anyone else. His life was transformed from the inside out. God brought out the full intention and purpose of Noah’s life. His character was completely changed, but in what way? Courageous faith changes us by:
Making us distinct from those around us
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. God saw him as just and righteous compared to the people around him. Courageous faith transforms our moral character in a way that causes us to live differently from the rest of the world.
Making us wholeheartedly pursue God
Noah centered his whole life around God. He was in wholehearted pursuit of God. He sought to live out the plan and purpose of God in the world. God used Noah because Noah put God at the center of everything in his life.
The Results of Courageous Faith
When we live a life of courageous faith, it always bears fruit. The following are the results of living a life of courageous faith:
We become heirs of righteousness
Hebrews 11 tells us Noah became an heir of righteousness and salvation by faith. If someone is an heir, they become rich or wealthy based on someone else’s accomplishments. This is a picture of the gospel. Christ absorbed our sin on the cross, endured the wrath of God, and rose again conquering death so that we could receive the eternal riches that only he deserved.
We find safety in the ark
In Noah’s story, the ark was beaten by flood waves and thereby experienced the judgment of God, but everything inside the ark was protected and safe. In the same way, we can look at Christ as our ark. Christ bore our judgment, yet we were spared and saved by his sacrifice.
Summing It Up
We have learned a lot today. Let’s sum it all up in a few points:
- When God wants to offer deliverance, He does it by grace and through people who respond to Him with courageous faith.
- Courageous Faith = Believing and acting on the words of God.
- We gather information by either believing the things that we see or believing in things that we don’t yet see, therefore we either choose to walk by our senses or walk by faith.
- Courageous faith changes us by making us distinct from those around us as we wholeheartedly pursue God.
- We must focus our lives with God at the center and frame everything else around him.
- The results of living a life of courageous faith are that we become heirs of righteousness and find safety in the ark.
- Reflection Question: Am I rooted in and built on the right thing? Is my life built on a firm foundation of faith or a pile of sand without any substance?
- Reflection Question: If I have faith, is it truly courageous like Noah’s?
- Noah was a part of God’s saving plan for the world, and we can be the same with courageous faith.