In the past I have worried that I didn't have enough faith, or that my faith wasn't complete, or that I would lose faith..and all this focus on my faith made me unsure of my standing before God, unsure of where I was with Him on a day to day basis and also unsure of my eternal destiny. If it was so important and all about my faith, what if I lost faith or didn't have enough at any one time? Would that meant that I would lose blessings, help, His favor, or..worst of all, my salvation and place in heaven? It scared me so much. I used to cling to verses like Phil. 1:6 because they gave me some hope that somehow God would get me through to heaven, since I felt my faith wasn't so hot! I instinctively knew that if it was 'all up to me and my faith' to get to heaven, be blessed, have healing or get God's favor and work in my life, then I was in trouble because I was not capable on my own of having perfect faith! I couldn't handle the responsibility, and it made me feel insecure and troubled and afraid.
Then God began to open my eyes to something wonderful, something I had never really been taught before...He opened my eyes to grace! He showed me that it wasn't all about me and my faith to make things happen, it was all about HIM and HIS GRACE and He had already made things happen and would bring them all about! Since it was all about Him and His responsibility to come through for me, my favor and acceptance with God, His work in my life, and my eternal destiny were thus absolutely certain and secure - for HE never fails, HE never wavers, HIS plan is always carried out, HIS work is always finished! I was able to stop worrying and start resting. I was able to start enjoying my life with God and looking forward to an eternal heavenly future that was for sure! The Holy Spirit testified deep within me that this was so. Oh what joy filled me up!
Now God is showing me something even more beautiful, helping me understand it all even better - He is showing me that in the eternal realm, salvation is already DONE! That means I am not waiting to get to heaven, I am ALREADY there! I've died with Christ, been raised with Christ, ascended with Christ, and have been seated with Christ at the right hand of God the Father in heaven - already! This happened 2000 years ago in our time, but really in God's time it happened before creation! For God said that the Lamb Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world - and I was there in Him, it happened to me, too, way back then! Before we even had a problem, God solved it. Before I even initiated anything, He initiated redemption and made everything okay for me. Before I even sinned, He took away my sin at the cross. Before I was lost, I was found by Him! Before I took one step out of line, He put me back together! Before I withdrew from relationship with Him, He connected me with Him eternally! Before I lost faith, HE had faith on my behalf. Before I even needed rescue, He saved me! Wow! My salvation has been secure since before time began - now THAT'S eternal security!
But what about faith? I know it is great to have faith, and faith is a natural response when we hear this good news that God has saved us. Yet I realize now I was putting so much emphasis in the past on "my faith" that I wasn't realizing that I was making faith into a work. Faith isn't a 'thing I do' to make something happen, like blessing or salvation. Faith isn't something I must do to 'get' God to be favorable toward me or do something for me. Faith is trust. It is what happens when you discover someone is trustworthy. You discover someone is trustworthy by seeing what they've already done for you to prove their love and loyalty to you. When you see that someone has made a big sacrifice for you to help you, you see they really love you and you're able to trust them to take care of you. And when you see that someone loves you even when they know the worst about you, even when you reject and mistreat them, then you are able to open up and trust them to accept and not reject you. And that's just what Jesus did at the cross - He proved His love for us by giving up His own life to free us from sin's hold. And He loved and did this for us when we were at our worst - in fact, we humans killed Him, and He asked His Father to forgive us and even came out of the grave with His arms stretched out in love and forgiveness for all, taking no revenge, just going on as if we hadn't killed Him at all, loving us and being open and friendly towards us just the same!! THAT is a God we can trust!
Faith doesn't make something happen. Faith is what naturally occurs when we see what has already happened to us through God's love and Jesus' finished work. So faith doesn't bring salvation. Faith sees that salvation already happened! Faith is simply seeing reality! All these years we may have thought God was angry or distant, thought we had to earn our way with Him, thought salvation was all up to us, thought we were being graded by our performance...and now we discover that wasn't reality, that was all a lie! We discover the truth, we see reality - that God is pure love and ONLY love, that He always loved and accepted and embraced us, no matter what wrong things we did, that we never had to earn our place with Him, that salvation was all up to Him and He already succeeded in doing it - for Jesus freed us from sins through bringing us with Him through death and brought us into life and fellowship in the Trinity by bringing us with Him out of the grave and up into heaven and plopping us right into Papa's lap! - that we are SAFE and SECURE and LOVED and ACCEPTED forever no matter what, we are HIS children, always were, always will be! God awakens us out of the nightmare of Satan's lies, and we SEE reality, His reality, the eternal and only REAL reality! That is all faith is to me now, not making something happen but seeing what already happened, what already IS!
We can rest, because salvation in the end is all about God and His grace, not all about us and our faith! What a relief to know that we are in the arms of the God of grace and that He will never let us go!