Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
I do not watch a lot of episodic television, but I loved the show “24.” Jack Bauer was always fighting the terrorists and saving the world for another day. In one particular episode I remember, some terrorists are holed up with a hostage, and Jack Bauer and his team are sneaking in to rescue her. As they advance toward their goal, the bad guys notice and start firing. But Jack Bauer says, “Bring in the shield,” and the team bursts in with a huge shield held up in front of them. The bad guys are shooting, but the bullets are just zinging off the shield as Jack Bauer and his team move forward. Finally he rescues the hostage, and the world is safe for now.
You see, Jack Bauer understood the importance of a shield for advancing against the enemy. It is not when a soldier is in the retreat that attacks come; it is when he is moving forward. In the same way, as we move forward offensively against Satan, as we follow God’s plan for our lives, that is when Satan starts bombarding us with discouragement, doubt, and deception to try to get us to stop or retreat. What is our shield against those attacks? Look at Ephesians 6:16: “Taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Paul said whenever you face Satan’s attacks, you need to hold up the shield of faith.
There is so much misunderstanding in the Christian world today about what faith is. Most people think faith is believing that God will do what they want Him to do. They think, “If I can just believe intently enough, then I will get that promotion, or God will heal my sickness, or He will save my marriage.” That is not what faith is. Do you know how the Bible defines faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” That word “assurance” in Greek refers to a concrete foundation on which pillars would be set. Faith is a concrete assurance, not a hope, wish, or desire. It is the assurance that God will do what He has promised to do. Not only that, faith is a conviction. That word “conviction” refers to outward behavior that stems from assurance. In other words, faith is believing that God will do what He has promised and acting accordingly.
In Hebrews 11 we find examples of man and women who exercised true faith. They believed what God said and they acted accordingly. For example, Noah believed what God said about destroying the world by a flood, so he built a boat. Abraham believed that God would make him the father of a great nation, so he uprooted his family and went to the land that God would show him. That is what faith is–believing that God will do what he has promised to do and acting accordingly. When we move forward in the plan that God has for our life, we are saying, “God, I believe You are going to do what You have promised to do, and I am going to act accordingly.”
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Storming The Gates Of Hell” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.
24, season 2, episode 10, “Day 2: 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.,” written by David Ehrman, aired January 24, 2003, on Fox.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org