“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Everything has a byproduct or a result of doing something. For instance, charcoal is the byproduct of Henry Ford using wood to make parts for cars. He suggested making charcoal out of it because there was so much waste. Every time you enjoy barbecuing, you are able to enjoy it because of the byproduct of sawdust.
Faith also has a byproduct. Whenever a Christian lives by faith, there is a natural byproduct that comes from it. Of course, we understand that you cannot please God without living by faith. Verse 6 reminds us of this when it says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him…” When you study Hebrews 11, you find that there are five byproducts of living by faith.
The first byproduct of faith is action. The verse above says, “Now faith is…” A person living by faith will not be stagnant in the Christian life. The person who lives by faith will be very active in serving the LORD. When I see people sitting in the pews never involving themselves in the work of the LORD, I see people who are living by sight rather than by faith. Whenever you choose to live by faith, you will find that it will immediately create a desire in you to do something for the LORD.
The second byproduct of faith is that it defines you. Verse 2 says, “For by it the elders obtained a good report.” When you read Hebrews 11, you see the lives of the patriarchs of were defined by their faith. For instance, Enoch’s faith to walk with God defined him when he was translated from Earth to Heaven. Whenever you think of people whom God used in the past, we often talk about the great works they did, but those great works were done because of faith. If you will stop worrying about your legacy and live a life of faith, the byproduct to do whatever the LORD wants you to do will result in defining you by God doing great works through you.
The third byproduct of faith is that it enhances you. In verse 3, faith causes us to “understand” God’s Word. The more you live my faith, the clearer the Scriptures will become. One reason the Scriptures don’t seem to excite Christians is because they are not living by faith. You will have a new perspective of the Scriptures when you start living by faith. Faith is the key that opens your vision to see the Scriptures through the eyes of God.
The fourth byproduct of faith is that it separates you. Verse 6 reminds us that you will never please God without living by faith. You will find that when you live by faith, you will stop doing things that hinder you from serving the LORD. One of the reasons some struggle with the separated life is because they struggle to live by faith; instead, they live for the acceptance of man which produces a worldly lifestyle. You will find that living a separated life won’t be an issue to you when you start living by faith.
The fifth byproduct of faith is that it challenges you. Throughout Hebrews 11, you see God say about different people, “…by faith…” My friend, you will find the greatest challenges to motivate you will come when you start living by faith. You will find that your vision for the LORD grows when you live by faith. Faith will give you the greatest ride through life when you start living by it.