Faith Is Not Future Tense

I had decided the night before Labor day that I would not wake up and go to the computer but that I would read the Bible and spend time just thinking.  In what could be described as His master plan or simply just “dumb luck” I got up – wide awake up – at 4:30AM.  For the next two hours or so I studied what was written in the Word along with some writings by Norvel Hayes.  I did not know who Norvel was before I read his short writings on Faith.  It was simply a few pages in the back of a Bible my Grandfather had used.  I won’t rewrite what he wrote there, but I thought it was pretty interesting to note, and it makes total “common sense” but I had never really thought of it.

Wikipedia compares Faith as a substitute for Hope, but I will contend the two are completely separate.   Faith is clearly:

Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. Hebrews 11:1

Faith is believing something is true without seeing the evidence of it.

The “A HA!” I had from the reading was this; Here’s how to tell if you are HOPING or if you have FAITH:

Hope is always future tense – pointing to the future, but faith is now.  Faith says, “I’ve already received it, I will take advantage of it now.” {minor edit}

Often times I think we get into a rut in our prayer life of casually thanking God for answered prayers, or asking for things but not really receiving them.   We need to consider 2 things.

Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.

1.  We need to take the Word of God as fact.  If it’s not true, then the whole thing is a lie.  This is the one instance in life that I can say, YES, throw the baby out with the bathwater in this case.  Either it’s all true or it’s all false.  Either you stand firm on the foundation or you’ll just be tossed by the waves of live.

22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].  23 For if anyone only listens to the Word without obeying it and being a doer of it, he is like a man who looks carefully at his [own] natural face in a mirror;  24 For he thoughtfully observes himself, and then goes off and promptly forgets what he was like.  25 But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience). James 1:22-25

2. We need to act!  Be doers of what the Word says. 

Receiving a gift, you simple accept or take it.  You have to open the gift and bring it into your possession.  The Word of God has many promises and many provisions, but we have to accept them and take them into our possession.  Faith is saying I have it right now and I will accept it. 
What are your thoughts on Faith?

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