The living faith is a growing faith. It is the renewable and overcoming apostolic belief that stands the test of time. That, which is not subject to the vagaries of time, changing situations and circumstances. It is not a consumable that depletes nor a hardware that depreciates, and, it does not become obsolete with time functionally and or aesthetically.
A song writer, W.H Bathurst, described true faith as “a faith that shines more bright and clear when tempest rage without. That, which when in danger knows no fear and in darkness feels no doubt. That which does not murmur nor complain beneath the chastening rod, but in the hour of grief and pain leans upon its God.” braham, Job, Stephen, and Paul the Apostle are examples of people who demonstrated such impregnable faith in the Bible.
When the Israelites were leaving Egypt, they had a great faith in the God of their salvation who had just convincingly and adequately demonstrated His powers and His love towards them. They sang beautiful songs of praise in appreciation of the signs and wonders which they saw and experienced. The songs were real and well intended. At that point in time, to them, there was no god as awesome and as loving as the God of Israel.
Just as Jesus Christ said in Mathew 24:12 that when wickedness would increase, the love of many would wax cold. The story soon changed; they lost colour and composure when challenges arose and trials came up. In Exodus 14:12 they harassed Moses saying ” didn’t we say to you in Egypt , ‘leave us alone, let us serve the Eqyptians?’ It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” They even at a point made graven images for themselves. It became clear, without doubt, that nothing more recommended Him to them than the miracles which they saw. Their faith had been built on the pillars of those transient signs and wonders that heralded their freedom from Egypt and which they experienced in the journey. It was not in God and the promised land which should have been the main focus.
When the motive of faith is not right, its basis will be defective. Such a faith can not be a living faith. It will be exhaustible when the physical testimonies that hold it are no more for one reason or the other. This is the condition of many believers; most of the objects of the then high sounding testimonies have become stale. It may be that the cars have become old, the houses have become dilapidated or the much celebrated miracle baby is now a source of anxiety and great concern. For some others, it could be that the beautiful prophesies are not being fulfilled or their bones are aching on account of sickness. If they do not have a living faith, their spontaneous joy of salvation will vanish, their enthusiasm in worship will dampen and their zeal for service will wane. Such a faith will faint and die.
I know of a truth that there are believers, even among us here at Foursquare Gospel Church, Olota Captain, whose lot in life is really tasking and whose cross is so heavy. However the scripture in Mathew 24:13 says only those who endure to the end shall be saved. While we trust God for our benefits of sonship in him, we need to realise that the crowning glory of a believer is Heaven. Our salvation that puts us in its path is enough consolation to make our faith a living faith. Stephen endured stoning to death and still rejoiced in his salvation; Job, in his distress bowed down to worship God without charging Him foolishly. It profits a man nothing to gain the whole world and lose his soul, says the Word of God. The night is near and the curtain will soon be drawn on the stage of life. We should concentrate on priorities and not allow the ephemeral things of the flesh to deter us.
As I welcome you all to the last month of year 2017. I thank you for the sacrifices you have made in the outgoing year and I pray that Heaven will grant every one of us good rewards. I am not unaware that we as individuals and as a group will tend to weigh our achievements against our set goals for the year. It is human to do so. Caution demands however that we should guide against the mistake of letting the result of comparing ourselves with ourselves or with the world be the basis of our faith in God. Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross and the hope of Heaven it gives us should be the grandstand of our faith. We will get there in Jesus name. Let us keep faith alive.