Focus:Â Focus is a central point of concentration, and faith is concentrated on looking unto Jesus as the author and finisher of faith. The concentration is to keep our eyes on Jesus rather than looking to surrounding circumstances which can result in mortal peril in our lives.Â Peter illustrates a lack of focus and therefore a lack of faith as he walks on the water to come to Jesus.Â He does fine until he takes his eyes off Jesus and sees the boisterous waves surrounding him caused by the unseen wind; it is then that he begins to sink and cries out, â€œLord, save me.â€Â (Matt. 14:30). It is a blessing that we have a compassionate high priest as Jesus responds in a way of deliverance and gently rebukes Peter for his lack of focus (faith).Â â€œAnd immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?â€Â (Matt. 14:31).Â During the year of 2013, may we all focus on Jesus and avoid all the pitfalls that come from taking our eyes off Him.Â When something is in focus, the image is very clear and distinct.Â When we focus on Jesus, our walk will be clear and distinct in pleasing the Master because without faith it is impossible to please Him.
Asks:Â Faith asks the Lord in prayer for the things needed in this life.Â The failure to ask is a lack of faith because we are told in scripture to ask the Lord.Â Jesus said, â€œAsk, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.â€Â (Matt. &:7-8).Â Jesus is talking about asking the Heavenly Father who is much better to His children than any earthly father which possesses only imperfect judgment. James tells us the importance of asking and the reason we donâ€™t have, even though we have asked.Â â€œâ€¦yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.â€Â (James 4:2-3).Â Faith always asks and doesnâ€™t demand; we cannot demand anything from God. We ask according to the will of God saying as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane, â€œNot my will but thine be done.â€
Insures:Â Faith insures your mind and conscience that you are indeed Godâ€™s child because only a born again child of God has faith. Faith indeed is a fruit of the Spirit and is only present where the Spirit is present.Â Wherefore, he that has faith and enabled to look up has the Spirit in the heart and soul.Â The knowledge that we are Godâ€™s child and heaven bound can be know and insured experimentally by faith and the exercise thereof. Faith works by love and John tells us, â€œWe know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.â€ (I John 3:14).Â Faith is given in the new birth and is born of God enabling us to overcome the world and obtain great assurance.Â â€œFor whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.â€Â (I John 5:4)
Trusts:Â Faith trusts in the Lord to carry through the trials and tribulations that undoubtedly comes to the child of God at some time in this life.Â Solomon gives us the importance of trust in the Lord rather than in self.Â â€œTrust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.â€Â (Prov. 3:5-6).Â Faith trusts in the Lord and the heart is kept in peace as focus is directed toward the Lord.Â â€œThou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.â€Â (Isa. 26:3).Â There is a reason that faith trusts in the Lord and the Psalmist explains it in Psalm 36:7; â€œHow excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.â€Â (Psalm 36:7).Â We trust that he has delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver, and in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us. (II Cor. 1:9-20)
Hopes:Â Faith not only trusts in the Lord but also hopes in the Lord.Â Indeed hope is linked to faith in Hebrews 11:1, â€œNow faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.â€Â Paul mentions the great three that abides as being faith, hope and charity with the greatest being charity. (I Cor. 13:13).Â Faith hopes in the seemingly impossible as faithful Abraham did when he was promised a child in his old age as Paul tells us in Rom. 4:18: â€œWho against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.â€Â (Rom. 4:18).Â Hope that is seen is not hope and by faith we have a hope (glorious expectation) of seeing the Lord in glory.Â When that day comes, we will no longer need faith or hope.Â However, charity will still live on in the unchanging and endless love of God and Jesus Christ.
As the year 2013 unfolds, may we all focus on the Lord, ask him for help, insure our souls, trust in Him continually, and hope to the end for the salvation that will one day be revealed in all of us.â€”January 2, 2013â€”Elder Larry Wise