Real Faith
John D. Telgren

Most Christians understand the necessity of faith. But Iím not sure how many American Christians have really gotten a handle on faith. Paulís thesis statement for the book of Romans 1:17 is that the righteous shall live by faith. The only way to have life is through faith in our Lord. We talk a lot about faith, we sing about it, and even pray about it. Even Israel professed faith in God:

ďCome, let us return to Yahweh. For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has wounded, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him. So let us know, let us press on to know Yahweh. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth (Hos 6:1-3)."

Strong words of trust from Godís people. They declared their faith in a God who was as dependable as the dawn. But notice Godís response:

ď What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud And like the dew which goes away early. Therefore I have hewn in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth. For I delight in faithfulness rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings (Hos 6:4-6)Ē.

Do you see the problem? They were saying the right words, but there was no real action. Their faith was really no faith at all. They thought they had it, but they didnít. Wouldnít it be unsettling to think you had it, and later learn you didnít? What was their problem?

They were not risk takers. Faith in God involves risk. It means putting all your eggs in one basket. Most people prefer to diversify rather than put all their eggs in one basket. It is ďsaferĒ that way. However, in Godís case, he is the only safe place we can place our eggs.

Paul affirms that the righteous shall live by faith. Do we really have a handle on faith, or do we just pay lip service to it the same way Israel did? I would like for all of us to spend time meditating on this and consider our faith. Do we really trust in God?