Yes, faith is indeed a command. It is written, “The just shall live by faith.” Likewise, we’re told that without faith it is impossible to please God. “If any man draw back, I will have no pleasure in him” (Hebrews 10”38).
I shudder when I think of the terror and dangers of unbelief. Unbelief leads to a bottomless pit of fear, anguish and discouragement. And the consequences of unbelief are horrendous. It begins with fearing what we cannot see. One fear today leads to two fears tomorrow, then three. Fear eventually becomes a mire of uncontrollable anguish and despair.
More and more I see that unbelief ends up in hopelessness. It leads to a wilderness of confusion and emptiness. Therefore, unbelief is not an option—and it is no small issue with God. On the contrary, unbelief is a matter of life and death. It will lead to fearing everything, present and future. And fear is torment.
All God’s children are enduring afflictions and troubles of various kinds. It is heartrending to hear of the painful things the righteous are now suffering. Many are severely tried and tested. Some who face overwhelming and frightful sufferings, both physical and spiritual, are losing heart. If you are going through the refining fires, I have a word for you.
Faith is also an invitation to partake of the great goodness of the lord.
I refer you to one of the most encouraging promises in all of God’s Word. Let this promise sink deep into your soul: “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hat laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Psalm 31: 19-20).
Here is great encouragement to us to hold steadfast in our faith. God has given us a bold, glorious promise. He says, “Trust me before men, and I will open my storehouse of great goodness and pour it on you. I will hide you in the secret of my presence. I will not allow strife to overwhelm you.”
Some may say, “We ought not to trust God to obtain goodness from him.” Not so! It is also written, “Cats not away therefore your confidence, for it has a great recompense of reward” (Hebrews 10:35). “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). We must believe that God is a rewarder. And the rewards of faith are spiritual goodness, such as strength, peace and calm in the storm.
God rejoices in our faith. He waits to give us hope and to open our eyes to his loving care. The decision is ours to make, even this moment. It is within our power to choose to trust God in our present and future trials. The choice is either the wilderness of despair or the smile of the Lord and an open heaven.
God help us all to hold fast our faith. Do not give up. We are too close to the end of the race.
“Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye” (Psalm 32:7-8).
By faith I keep pressing on!