I've been relatively silent on matters of faith recently. Not for lack of faith, but rather for lack of words and a fear of speaking negatively in the midst of trials. After all, who likes to listen to whining?
Faith. A big word. Sometimes too big to be accurate. But sometimes the only word.
"For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last..." Romans 1:17
By faith from first... - when the scales drop away from our eyes and we see our own sin for the nastiness that it is. When we see God for who He is. When we throw ourselves on Jesus work on the cross in taking the punishment our sin deserves. Then that righteousness comes from Jesus to us, so that our sin is gone and God sees the righteousness of Jesus when He looks at us.
...to last - by faith (dependence and trust in God) I am able to do right things, to live a righteous life. And so my faith continues to work out in me what God already sees to be true. Day by day. In the good times and in the tough times. Up to the last.
The way I understand it, I am not righteous in God's sight because I do the right. I do what is right because I am already considered righteous by virtue of my faith. Oh it is a slippery concept, but at times I catch a corner of it and get a tiny grasp before it slips away again.
Faith? What I know about it for sure is that it's a decision. Yesterday, today, tomorrow. I decide that what I read in the Bible about God is true. I determine to believe that God is good and faithful, even when I've fasted and prayed and yet the book I'd worked so hard to have done for a conference isn't completed by the publisher in time. By faith I watch for the different answer, for what will happen when it does come. And by faith I wait. It's a long hard road, but the journey is an adventure. And the company is great!