“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Heb 11:6).
Christians are meant to be a people of faith, and that faith need to be robust and intentional. Some see faith as trite, involving merely believing something. Just believe; no action is needed. This makes faith workless—a nice thing to say perhaps (“you just have to have faith”), but it amounts to saying, in the minds of many, “I’m just going to sit here and believe. I don’t have to act. I have faith.” We can say, “Trust God. Live by faith,” and this may be taken to mean that we do nothing but sit and wait for God to do everything. This cannot be more unbiblical, and Christians need to guard against imbibing that kind of mindset. To be sure, God does not need my hands, as though He needed anything (Acts 17:25), but we are expected to respond to the opportunities before us (cf. Esth 4:14). Biblically, faith is at work.
A robust view of faith — true biblical faith — will consider faith as a trust that acts, an allegiance to God that is fully invested in His will and His way. It does not merely sit back and do nothing, for that shows little trust in what God says to do and how to behave. True faith stands for God, for God’s will, for all that is right and good, unashamed of the gospel and the righteousness of God (Rom 1:16-17). It is conviction standing under hope (Heb 11:1). It seeks, without prejudice, the reconciliation of all to the Lord (Acts 10:34-35). It is, with the Lord firmly sanctified in heart, willing to defend the reason for the hope within (1 Pet 3:15). It seeks first God’s kingdom over any earthly kingdom, and, at the same time, seeks the welfare of the place where the faithful reside (cf. Jer 29:7).
Those who maintain this kind of faith will be the best citizens on the earth because they are first citizens of heaven who are partaking of the fruit of the Spirit (Phil 3:20; Gal 5:22-25). They will be the best workers because they know they are first serving the Lord and will do to their best ability whatever their hands find to do (Col 3:23-24). They will seek to serve others over self because they want to follow the example laid down by Jesus (Phil 2:3-8; 1 Pet 2:21-23). They will stand for what is right without resorting to reviling or carnal tactics, for “although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor 10:3-5).
Those with a robust faith will intentionally live in this world as lights and seek to represent Christ appropriately. They will strive to be “blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation” because they “shine like stars in the world, by holding firm to the word of life” (Phil 2:15-16). They are concerned about their influence. They know they are salt and light and cannot afford to hide their faith under a cover (Matt 5:14-16). Faith responds to the slanders of the world by honorable conduct, not by returning slander for slander (1 Pet 2:12).
Let us never, then, think that calling on people to walk by faith and trust God is resorting to bumper-sticker slogans. Never think that such is calling on others to stand idly by or not care about what’s going on around them. Christians must take a robust view and see faith as a high calling that will, at all cost, follow Jesus, for “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6). We must eagerly seek Him.
The only alternative to is set aside trust in God for trusting in self. This, in the end, will fail because people fail. The wise man put it this way:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding;
in all your ways know him,
and he will make your paths straight. (Prov 30:5-6)
There is no part of our lives that is left untouched by faith. At no time can we afford to lay our faith down, whether it be in jobs, family, politics, or even our daily provisions (Matt 6:25-34). So then walk by faith and trust God. The Lord is looking for a robust faith from His people.