There are more than seven hundred verses in the Bible that use some form of the word “faith” or its near synonyms. In preparation for this series I have carefully examined each one. As I did so, I placed them into categories or groups based on similarity. One of those groups or categories I labeled “what faith brings you.” There are substantially more than six thoughts in that category but here some of the best of the lot.
First, we see that faith brings us the Holy Spirit. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified) (John 7.39). The Holy Spirit may just be perhaps be the most marvelous gift that you and I possess this side of eternity. He is glorious. In the Old Testament era He only visited the saints, coming upon them from time to time. But in this era He indwells us, permanently. That means that all that He brings with Him is permanent as well, spiritual graces as grand and varied as comfort, conviction, leading, assurance, illumination, sealing, and fellowship. No wonder He is called the gift of the Spirit! And what brings us all of this? Just faith.
Second, we see that faith brings us victory over the world. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (I John 5.4-5)
Too often, we allow ourselves to be intimidated. We see the swelling numbers walking opposite the Lord’s way. We feel pushed around by the media, the public education system, the music that surrounds us, the political and legal culture of our day, the sports-mad, money-chasing, carnality-loving, wickedness-celebrating, God-hating society in which we pass the days of our pilgrimage. We cower in the corners, hoping to remain unnoticed. In so doing, we entirely fail to understand we are looking at a whole lot of losers. Literally. They have already lost. The victory is already won. It is already over. And that victorious position from which we ought to live and move and have our being came via faith in God.
Third, we see that faith brings us joy. The sweet psalmist of Israel said, But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: Let them ever shout for joy (Psalm 5.11) To which Solomon adds his heart assent. Whose trusteth in the Lord, happy is he (Proverbs 16.20). I do not for one moment deny that this life can be a vale of tears. Burdens are real, heartaches are ever-present. But even in those tears there is joy. Even in those heart-aches there is blessing. We trust God. He blesses us. We count those blessing and joy fills our soul. We trust God. He uses us. We thrill in so being used and joy fills our soul. We trust God. He draws us to Him. We delight in Him. The praises of God overflow from our heart and lips. He has been marvelously good to us.
Fourth, we see that faith brings us companionship. The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: And none of them that trust in him shall be desolate (Psalm 34.22). God made us social creatures. That is why we want to go where everybody knows our name. That is why the worst punishment this side of capital punishment is solitary confinement. That is why people constantly form bad attachments. They are driven by their loneliness.
God’s people are not lonely people. I do not mean that they are not alone. Often, they are. But they are never lonely. Many times, if not most of the time, God blesses us with the sweetness of close friendships. David and Jonathan. Daniel and Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael. Elijah and Elisha. Moses and Joshua. Jesus and the Apostles. In my own life there are several such men, men I love with all my heart, that I could kneel and pray with at any altar, and cover it in tears and praise. Beyond them, there are many others whose heart beats along with mine, coworkers in ministry laboring around the world, rejoicing and weeping together as we do so.
Having said that, it is also true that as we follow on to know the Lord we are inevitably drawn directly to Him. Often, that involves a separating experience so that those around us, while no less loved than before, are no longer depended on. We find our souls drawn to Him alone. When we walk, we walk with God. And we are satisfied. David found in the Lord all the encouragement He needed. John found in Jesus a Saviour, a brother, a Lord, and a friend. Enoch walked with God and he was not, for God took him. Joshua tarried still at the Tabernacle, alone with the Lord long after Moses had left. Intimacy is an over-used and misunderstood word in our day, but it is a beautiful word nonetheless. The mature Christian finds great sweetness in the marrow of his intimacy with the Saviour.
Fifth, we see that faith brings us safety. The fear of man bringeth a snare: But whose putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe (Proverbs 29.25). Faith is not a forcefield, magically protecting us from all ills. But faith in God means that everything that comes to us comes through Him. It also means that everything that comes to us finds Him with us. I will take those two facts all day long. Yes, man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward but faith mitigates that mightily. Faith gives us a hedge around us.
Lastly, we see that faith means God knows us. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; And he knoweth them that trust in Him (Nahum 1.7). So many people spend so much time and effort networking, trying to get someone rich and/or famous to know them. You know when they succeed because they name drop. But in this scenario it is God that knows you. Charles Spurgeon said one time, “I want to live so close to God that when I look up to Heaven and whisper, ‘God, I love you,’ He looks down and says, ‘Charles, I know.’ “ To be known of God, to be known by God is priceless. The world sings, “Oh, how I need someone to watch over me.” We have Him, oh, beloved, we have Him. And it is beautiful. My beloved is mine, and I am his (Song of Solomon 2.16).
…and all of this comes to us through faith.