When Jesus was walking upon the face of the earth, He taught the world about the significance and importance of faith. Faith became a very crucial aspect of life for those who followed and believed in Jesus. Even those who did not follow Him as His disciples did came to know and understand faith.
For example, in the Gospel of Matthew, a Centurion Roman soldier approached Jesus and told Him, his servant was sick at home with the palsy. Jesus said, “I will go to him and heal him.” The soldier replied and said…”I am not worthy for you to come under my roof. But if you would just speak a word, my servant will be healed.” Jesus replied and said…..”I have not found so great of faith in all of Israel…Go and as you have said it shall be done.”
What has happened to faith? There is so much sickness and ailments in our communities. The medical community is making a mint off of doctor visits and various types of medications. The cost of health care has skyrocketed and many who are carrying this burden are those who claim to be believers of faith.
In the Gospel of Mark, a woman with an issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus garment believing that just by touching the clothing of Jesus it would make her whole. Jesus felt power come out of Him and asked, “Who touched me.” The woman explained to Jesus her condition and why she touched Him. Jesus said , “Daughter, your faith has made you whole.”
What has happened to faith. Too many of us are depending on medicine, doctors, and those who claim to have the power to heal, to make us whole. While at the same time, we remain sick and in misery.
In Luke 17:6, Jesus said, “…if you had faith, the size of a mustard seed, you would be able to tell a mulberry tree to get up out of the ground and be planted in the sea and the tree will obey you.” What has happened to faith when parents cannot speak words of empowerment to their children? What has happened to faith when we cannot speak to situations, circumstances, people and the demons in our lives in such a way that they all will have to move.
One of the things that has happened to faith is that it has been re-defined by the church in recent decades. But faith is still the same as it was when it was defined in Hebrews 11:1.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is the same now as it was when the words above were first given to us. That is why the definition begin with “now.” Faith will remain the same until Jesus comes.
Notice that faith is substance. And if we do not understand substance, we can never have or understand faith. The substance in this context means three things. It means (1) the Word of God, (2) the truth of God’s Word, and (3) the promises of God. Those three things, and those things only, is what gives you a hope and evidence of things not seen.
You may not be able to see yourself, or someone else, coming out of any given situation, but the Word of God, the truth of God’s Word and the Promises of God gives you hope that you will. You may not be able to see how you are going to make it, but that which makes up substance will give you hope that you are going to make. You may even have a terminal illness and the doctors have given up on you, but that which makes us substance, gives you hope that one day you will be made whole. And the list goes on and on.
What has happened to faith?
Too many Christians are walking around sad, grumpy and with a frown on their face. Too many Christians are going with lack and always having their hand out. David said, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” Now that’s substance!
Too many churches are having fundraisers after fundraisers, when they serve a God who has all the funds. Some churches, during their worship services, have offerings after offerings, while God is saying, I have given you the only offering you need. And that offering is named Jesus Christ.
We love to repeat, “The just must live by faith.” But we must go back to when that truth was first stated to gain the right perspective of what it means. That phrase was first said by the Prophet Habakkuk in Habakkuk 2:4, “…the just shall live by his faith.” In other words, a Christian shall live by the kind of faith he/she has. And therein lies the problem and the answer to the question, what has happened to faith?
Many believers of today have a faith that is not based on Jesus Christ being the object of their faith. Most of the faith of believers today is based on the wrong substance. Their substance has been diluted with what I call “CHURCHISM”
Jesus said, the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. The thief wants to steal your faith. Once your faith is stolen, it is easy for him to kill and destroy you. “Churchism” has helped Satan to steal our faith.
Some churches are no longer adamant about you learning the doctrine of Jesus Christ but they are more concerned that you learn the doctrine of their particular church. Too many Christians are going to church every Sunday, not for the purpose of hearing faith, but for the purpose of hear some good singing. Some are going to certain churches, simply because of how beautiful the building is, while completely disregarding that Jesus said now is when you will not be able to worship in that building or this building, but you must worship in spirit and truth. Too many church members have made their Pastors the object of their faith instead of Jesus Christ being the object of their faith. And many church members are taught that having a good bake sale or plate sale are works of faith.
What has happened to faith. Absolutely nothing. But something has happened to God’s people who clam to be people of faith.
Gilbert Owens is the director of the Roseboro Senior Center.