Having faith in Jesus means far more than simply believing Jesus exists. To have faith is to have absolute trust in someone. Having faith in Jesus means trusting Him wholeheartedly with your dreams and desires, your gifts and talents, and your life. It doesn’t mean just trusting Him when we’re experiencing what we consider to be the ‘good things’ in life. It also means trusting Him when we’re going through circumstances we wouldn’t choose. It means trusting Him when you’re in the midst of trials of many kinds–whether you’re suffering physically, mentally, or emotionally; when the world seems to be coming apart and you’re confused; and even when life just feels stagnant.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 ESV). We must have faith that God will follow through with His promises. Faith is believing that God is Who He says He is, and able to do what He says He can do. That means that regardless of our circumstances, God is with us in the midst of them, and able to use them all for our good and for His glory (Matthew 28:20; Romans 8:28). And, there is nothing that is too big for our Almighty God!
Let’s explore what it means to have faith in Jesus.
Having Faith in Jesus in Your Suffering
In 2 Timothy, Paul guarantees that the world will persecute those who love and live for Christ, saying, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 ESV). That’s because the world’s view is against God’s. Even though the world is innately against Christians because we follow Jesus and His teachings, we can be comforted knowing that God is for us! He even promises us that after we have suffered, He will restore and strengthen us:
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, Who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you,” (1 Peter 5:10 ESV).
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,” (1 Corinthians 4:17 ESV).
The Word of God makes many promises to those who put their faith in God and love Him, and they are BIG promises! He promises to work everything out for our good and for His glory, the indescribable joy of being with Him in Heaven for all eternity, and great reward for all of those who have suffered for His Name’s Sake (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 2:9; Matthew 5:10-12). When we experience suffering in this world, when life seems chaotic and uncertain, and even when all seems well, we can cling to these promises that have been given to us by God, Who cannot lie!
Having Faith in Jesus in Uncertainty
One thing that is certain is that none of us knows what tomorrow may bring into our lives. We like to set goals and make plans to try and create order and certainty in our lives. Sometimes we cling to our fallible plans as if they are our rock. However, when our plans and dreams come crashing down, we can easily fall into a downward spiral that leads us to question our faith in God if we have put our trust in those plans rather than in God. There is nothing wrong with making plans and having goals for our life. We just need to make sure that we seek God’s guidance as we make our plans, hold onto them loosely, and cling tightly to God, Who alone is our Rock and Salvation, even when our plans go awry (Psalm 62:2).
I am reminded of Joni Eareckson Tada, an extremely active and athletic young woman who became a quadriplegic at the age of 17 due to a diving accident. Following the accident, she went through a time of anger, great depression, suicidal thoughts, and doubts regarding her faith in Jesus. However, God ended up using that accident — one that she would never have chosen — to reveal Himself to her in ways she might never have known apart from her accident and resultant condition. And God has used her in life-transforming ways to minister to people across the globe, especially the disabled community.
Among the many things she’s accomplished through the Lord’s strength is the founding of the organization ‘Joni and Friends,’ whose mission is to ‘accelerate Christian ministry in the disability community,’ producing a TV show and an international radio program, speaking at conferences around the world, serving on many prestigious boards, and authoring more than 48 books. Joni’s life and testimony reveal the power and joy found in a life surrendered to God, no matter the circumstances.
You may wish to check out this inspirational video about Joni here.
Joni’s life is a testimony — as ours should be too — that if you put your faith in Jesus, Who is Immovable and Unchanging, and not in your plans, desires, or dreams, you’ll know untold joy and peace no matter your circumstances.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV). If we are devoted to and fully trust in God, He will straighten our paths and guide us on them.
Having Faith in Jesus When You Think You’re Fine
It’s important that we realize that even when we think all is fine in our life, that we can be in danger.
The danger is that you can be deceived into thinking you don’t need Jesus. You can be deceived into thinking you can live independently from Him, that all is well because of your own effort. It is just as vital to maintain persistent faith in Jesus when you feel that all is fine as when you’re experiencing suffering, uncertainty, and doubt. Like wading in stagnant water that appears fine but can contain unseen bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can harm you, you may think you’re safe when all seems static in your life. However, that is often the time when it’s easy to let your guard down and forget your dependence upon Jesus.
During the stagnant times in your life, the devil is often looking at ways to prey upon you, and to get your focus onto yourself and off of Jesus. Having faith in Jesus when you think you’re okay is vital to remain strong in the faith. Paul warned the Corinthians that if they weren’t careful they could succumb to the temptation of self-reliance and spiritual pride like the Israelites did before them, and he sounds the alarm to us who live today as well:
“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12, ESV).
We must remember that even when things seem fine and everything seems to be easy in life and ‘going your way,’ that God is the Source of your blessings and the reason you are able to stand firm.
What Does it Mean to Have Faith in Jesus?
Having faith in Jesus must be a persistent and constant devotion to Him, whether you’re experiencing good or bad times. God is Sovereign over all, and always Good. Cling to that truth whether you’re experiencing pain or joy; confusion or certainty; loss or gain. Then you will experience the joy that surpasses all human understanding and is found in Him alone, and you will be able to testify to others as Paul did in Philippians 4:11-13:
…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Your faith in Jesus will enable you to be sustained in all your situations, and will out-pace all difficulties and achievements. When your faith in Jesus comes first, you too will be able to be content regardless of your circumstances.
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