Faith. The assent of the understanding to any truth. Religious faith is assent to the truth of divine revelation and of the events and doctrines contained in it. This may be merely historical, without producing any effect on our lives and conversation; and it is then a dead faith, such as even the devils have. But a living or saving faith not only believes the great doctrines of religion as true, but embraces them with the heart and affections; and is thus the source of sincere obedience to the divine will, exhibited in the life and conversation. Faith in Christ is a grace wrought in the heart by the Holy Spirit, whereby we receive Christ as our Savior, our Prophet, Priest, and King, and love and obey him as such. This living faith in Christ is the means of salvation-not meritoriously, but instrumentally. Without it there can be no forgiveness of sins, and no holiness of life; and they who are justified by faith, live and walk by faith. (Crossmap Dictionary)
There are different levels to faith. First and absolutely most important is believing that Christ died for us in order to save us. Acts 16:31 reads: They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Once we have this belief, that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) we have to move on to deeper faith. As the Crossmap Dictionary says, if faith has no affect on our lives, then it is dead faith. Nothing is good to us dead.
Another level of faith is living faith. Our lives change because of living faith. I no longer desire what the world desires when I live with living faith. What I treasure most changes. What I desire changes. The way I talk changes. The way I live changes. Romans 8:5 reads: Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
Still another level of this faith is believing God's word and believing that He will be faithful as well. Such examples of this faith walk the world around me. I see how they continue day by day, even though life has dealt them some blows. But they have faith in Christ that He will sustain them; that He will provide for them. Others take steps of faith that God will sustain and provide.
As we take a step of faith, I worry and I fret over what will happen. Did we make the right choice? What is going to happen? Then I just have to remember God's promises He made in His love letter to us. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
As I take my first really ginormous step out on faith, I have to remind myself of these promises. We feel like we made the right decision for our family, for our children, and for our lives. It would be so unfortunate to do this, then worry about how we will make it. Matthew 6:24-25 reads: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
I have to remove all doubt and place my faith solidly on the Rock upon which I stand. I believe with all my heart, mind, and soul that Jesus died for my sins. I believe wholeheartedly that I must change my life and not be of this world. Now I am choosing to believe His promises that good will come of this, that He has a plan for our lives, that we don't have to worry about our lives because He is in control. He will sustain us. He will provide.
I pray that each of us will take our steps of faith and that we can look back on a faithful life, and when this life is over we will hear "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!" (Matthew 25:21).