Text – Hebrews 11:1- “Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”
From our text today, we see that faith is defined as the substance of things hoped for (i.e. an assurance that gives confidence for our expectations and desires), the evidence of things not seen (i.e. a conviction of facts when they are not yet observable by our physical senses).
Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, "... If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." In this place, Jesus likens faith to a seed, and clearly states that when it comes to seeds, size is not the main factor, but productivity.
In fact, from Luke’s account (Luke 17:5-6), Jesus made this statement when the apostles said to Him, “Lord increase our faith”. Jesus replied saying that we don't need huge faith to address big issues, what we need is productive faith!Productivity is the hallmark of a seed; the mustard seed is very tiny, but is highly productive. Little faith is faith with low productivity. How then can we make our faith productive? There are 10 things that make faith productive.
I have listed them below with Bible references for further study:
1. Obedience. Romans 16:26
2.Love. 1Corinthians 13:2, Galatians 5:6
3. Holiness. 1Timothy 2:15
4. Sobriety (Common Sense)1Timothy 2:15
5. Pure Conscience. 1Timothy 3:9
6. Patience. Hebrews 6:12
7. Works. James 2:17-26
8. Diligence. 2 Peter 1:5
9. Virtue. 2 Peter 1:5
10. Knowledge. 2 Peter 1:5
In discussing how to make faith productive, I have discovered that the deception of the 21st century, a century of fast foods and one-minute drive-throughs is to want immediate results, whereas Faith operates on the principle of eventuality, not the principle of instantaneity.
Faith guarantees your result, but the reality of that productivity is determined by the 10 things listed above. It takes those ten things for your faith to translate into physical reality.
We must also understand that God's promises does not depend on our Faith, rather, our Faith depends on God's promises. If God didn't promise it, you can't have Faith for it!
Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God". The thin line that differentiates faith from mere hope/wishful desire is that there is a word from God that faith anchors on.
Finally, recognize the fact that God is sovereign; hence, he cannot be coerced to follow our 'orders'. That's why intimacy with God is extremely important so that we don't make a shipwreck of our faith, asking for things that God is not giving us.
1. Lord, let my faith in you be full, unreserved and productive
2. Dear Lord, help me - every blessed day - to find faith in the midst of the chaos.
3. Father, I know your ways are past finding, but teach me to understand your sovereignty and grant me the grace to reckon with it at all time.