Faith or Chaos
The next fact is this: There is no substitute for faith in God. History rings the warning bells. Without the knowledge of the Lord God, nothing has ever made sense. The ancients, even the most brilliant thinkers, produced the wildest ideas, superstitions, and speculations. Mystery clothed nature. They were sure of nothing, not even of the weather or the seasons. To make the sun rise, they worshipped it. To summon rain, they bowed to the heavens. Through sacrifices, they persuaded the rivers to not dry up. Everybody had his or her own god. In this context, the prophets of God were raised up and inspired with a burning realisation of God’s reality and His will.
The concept of God as the Father of all was unknown. Conflicts and family blood feuds shaped history, and war was the glory of men. But Israel’s prophets taught the people not to fear the signs of the heavens, and they told them to work instead of war. They promised that God would faithfully look after all His creatures and said they should not worry about harvests like the heathens around them did.
It is easy to casually say you do not believe in God. However, the consequences are eternal. They fertilise corruption, bribery, violence, terrorism, and crime. Atheists claim they can live decent lives without believing in God, but they forget they got the very idea of decency from Christianity. Before Christ, it was a different story and a far crueller world. In fact, we do not know what is good or bad without faith in God. Without Him, no one has ever agreed on the subject. A totally unbelieving world would be like a lunatic asylum taken over by its patients. If we do not trust God, we soon trust nobody.
Faith Is a Decision
The great Swiss theologian, Dr. Emil Brunner, summed up his thoughts in four words, Faith is a decision. He took it from Jesus, who always talked that way. He praised believers and blamed unbelievers. Just as we can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell—so too we can believe. That is our sixth sense or faculty, our spiritual eyesight, which Jesus also described as an ear to hear. (See Matthew 11:15.) It is a hand to take God’s blessing.
Believing is not beyond anybody. “I am not made that way,” some vainly plead, but we all are. Some think of faith as money, which seems like a good thing if you have some. But faith is not what you have; it’s what you do. We can all rise to the heights—if we want to. Who wants unbelief? It is a blind alley, the way to no land, no water, and no love. To get out of it, we must turn around. In Bible language, we must repent. That means deciding to believe instead of not believing. Doubt is deadly. Choose to live. “Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15).
Faith Is Spiritual Strength
One final fact about faith needs to be cleared up, especially for Christians. Very sanctified and spiritual people can sadly be doubters. Faith and piety do not always go down the street hand-in-hand. Some Christians think you have to be a spiritual giant in order to have great faith. This is backwards. It is the man or woman who is strong in faith who is the spiritual giant. Faith is spiritual strength.
Faith produces good works, but good works do not produce faith—just as milk produces butter, but butter does not produce milk.
Faith, mighty faith the promise sees
And looks to that alone,
Laughs at impossibilities
And cries, “It shall be done.”