Faith is defined as reliance, loyalty or complete trust in God, and the Scriptures defines it as, “The confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see” (Hebrews 11:1 NLT). In short, faith believes that through God, the seemingly impossible will happen!
Facts are the hard evidence of a case or situation that cannot be disputed. Facts predict the outcome of a situation. For instance, when the Israelites left Egypt en route to the Promised Land, they had a number of challenges to overcome. One of their challenges was finding themselves sandwiched between the Red Sea in front of them and the Egyptian armies pursuing them from behind, with nowhere to go. Here are the facts about the Red Sea: it’s too deep to wade; it is impassable from one bank to the other without an adjoining bridge, a boat, or an airplane. Nevertheless, God miraculously made a way for the Israelites to cross it, getting to the opposite bank safely, on foot, and on dry ground.
Based on known facts, one could have predicted that the Israelites were going to perish, either at the hand of their enemies, or by drowning in the sea, but that’s not what happened; they got across safely without bridges, boats, or airplanes. The Egyptian army, in its pursuit of the Israelites, faced the same facts as the Israelites, but without God in the equation, they drowned when they attempted to follow the Israelites on dry ground.
This is where faith and facts part company: if you walk into a grocery store with no money (fact), you can’t expect to walk out with a bag of paid groceries. Faith, however, can allow you to walk into the store with no money, and walk out with a bag of paid groceries, and maybe even some extra cash in your pocket.
Here’s an example of faith as a math equation:
No money plus (+) complete trust in God to provide needed groceries equals (=) paid bag of groceries at no cost to you! That is how faith works in all seemingly impossible situations.
One of the things that saddened Jesus during His time here on earth was the lack of faith among the people and especially His own disciples (see Matthew 17:14-19). Although they’d all witnessed His power at work time and time again, they never seemed to remember it when the need arose later! On a storm-tossed sea with Jesus in the boat, the disciples were alarmed; they woke Him up. “Master, Master, we’re going to drown” (Luke 8:24 NLT). After He rebuked the storm, He asked them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25 NLT). Jesus must have found that very disappointing; did they really think they were going to drown with Jesus on board the boat?
Can a boat drown with Jesus on board? No! But why do we sometimes behave as if that were possible? The Scriptures teach us, “It is impossible to please God without faith” (Hebrews 11:6 NLT). We need to have and exercise faith, if we’d like to be pleasing to God. After all, He’s promised us, “I will never fail you, I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:6 NLT). Also, He encourages us, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). Which portion of these promises don’t I understand, and what about them don’t you understand? We need to stop worrying so much!
Worrying does not change anything (see Matthew 6:27); only the prayer of faith and the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6) can move the supposed mountains we worry about. The Scripture commands us, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). When we pray more specifically and remind ourselves about God’s promises and past provisions, our fears, worries, and concerns will disappear. The facts we know about a situation don’t have to have any bearing on the outcome, because faith in the power of God makes all the difference. It makes possible the seemingly impossible!
Lord, please forgive us for worrying so much. When we worry, we imply we don’t trust you, and that you don’t have the ability or the power to help us. Please forgive us for being so ungrateful and faithless! You provide for even the birds of the air: how much less for those for whom you died and rose again! Lord, we turn our needs and concerns over to you: please intervene, and help us to always remember your many blessings. Thank you in Jesus’ name!