We urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 1 Thessalonians 5:14, NIV Discernment isn’t easy, but God has given us two gifts that can help us. The impulse of the Spirit Thank God for the gift of the Spirit....
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
If you study Hebrews 11, you will find in the descriptions of the heroes of the faith what authentic faith looks like.
One thing you will notice is that faith is active—it does things. Here are four verbs from Hebrews 11 that illustrate the activity of faith.
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command” (11:3). Faith will open your understanding: “I have more insight than all my teachers for I meditate on your statutes” (Psa. 119:99). The Holy Spirit gives wisdom that cannot be gained by the intellect alone. In other words, it is possible to have a brilliant mind and yet to live like a fool.
“By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain” (11:4). Faith will lead you to make great sacrifices. It will motivate you to deny yourself. Faith will lead you to costly commitment.
“By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark” (11:7). Faith initiates projects that will be a means of advancing God’s redeeming purpose in the world.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (11:8). Faith will lead you to say, “I must follow Christ,” and then venture into the unknown.
Where do you see the activity of faith in your own life?