Deuteronomy 32:20, Habakkuk 2:4 (Hebrew word emuwn)
I Corinthians 2:1-2 ESV
Hebrews 11:1-3 ESV
2 Peter 3:18 ESV
Scripture for Life
Somehow the 20th Century definition of faith and faithfulness got separated in some church circles. Both definitions were somewhat more secular than Spiritual.
Faith became synonymous with our system of belief as humans.
Faithfulness came to mean a human ability to believe in and stick with a task in order to accomplish the desired result.
Though it was not true in all cases, the word faith came to be known as something humans need to possess in order to obtain God’s power.
While both of those are true in the secular sense, they are not synonymous with the Biblical meaning of the word faith.
In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for faith is emuwn and is found in Deuteronomy 32:20 and Habakkuk 2:4. In Deuteronomy it means to be true, trusty, or faithful. A form of the Hebrew word emuwnah found in Habakkuk means to stand firm, steadfast, or steady.
The word emuwn is only found in the Old Testament those two times in the New King James Version.
The ancient Hebrew can get lost in translation sometimes but we notice in both cases steadfast and true have a common thread. Neither definition matches the modern concept of possessing enough power to heal someone.
In the Koine Greek, the word for faith is Pistis and it appears many times in the New Testament books.
In I Corinthians 2:1-2 we read, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
The example the Apostle Paul gives hits the nail on the head. Paul says he carefully came to speak to them so their faith would not be based on the wisdom of a man. That’s because faith is of God. God has ‘Pistis’. Paul knew he was a representative of God, but he was not God.
A man can talk about faith, but man has no power to make faith move mountains. Only God can do that.
Faith comes from God.
Hebrews 11:1-3 tells us, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
Faith is assurance but it’s not an entity in and of itself. Our faith lies not in our ability. Our faith is in God…only God.
When God spoke the world was created.
We are not given any ability that surpasses or supersedes God.
God is all powerful.
So, our faith doesn’t lie in our ability to do anything (even to breathe).
Simply put, our faith is rooted in believing in God.
So why am I making such a point about this?
It’s because I have seen mighty miracles in my lifetime and at one time I didn’t understand why some miracles are given and some are not. Trust me, I prayed in 1987 that my dad would be healed of cancer but I thought he was not healed.
It took time (and maturity) for me to see that my prayers were answered. He was healed. He was healed completely. He was and is completely healed in heaven.
It just that he wasn’t healed the way I wanted him to be healed. I wanted to have MY way about it. I wanted him to be healed on earth. I didn’t want to be separated from him.
Guess what I learned?
I am not in charge.
God is Faith.
God is faithful.
God was faithful to my dad and God was faithful to me.
In time, I knew that.
I also learned that through it all God was faithful to me. God helped me as Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Faith
Consider how God is and has been faithful to you.
In God, Deborah