And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV)
Today’s big question: how long must we have faith?
In this next devotional series, we will discuss a number of topics related to Christian living, beginning with a look at the “big three” foundational characteristics of our daily Christian walk—faith, hope, and love. These essential elements are part of our spiritual armor: “But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation” (1 Thessalonians 5:8; cf. Ephesians 6:13–18).
Each of these is absolutely necessary for the Christian walk. Today, we will consider the first one—faith. Scripture states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). In this life, “we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Our faith is critically important because through it we “see” the invisible God and His truth.
Concerning Abraham, the Bible states, “By faith he forsook Egypt . . . for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27, emphasis added). We also read that “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). In the same way, our salvation is received through faith which “is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).
Thus, without faith, no one will be saved. We have faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of our souls, “whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). Peter understood the value of faith:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, . . . receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6–7, 9)
Faith is critical for the believer’s walk in this life. However, the goal of faith is “the salvation of your souls,” and as believers. we “are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).
So will we always need to walk by faith? No, since “we know that when [Jesus] is revealed . . . we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). At that point, faith will be unnecessary because we will see Him in whom we have placed our faith. As the great hymn proclaims, “Lord, haste the day when our faith shall be sight!”
Today’s big idea: now we walk by faith, but soon we will see Jesus.
What to pray: ask God to strengthen your faith.