We don’t think too much of the concept of ‘flipping a coin’ into the air and then snatching it in mid-drop, to then slap it on the back side of our other hand. Then uncovering the coin, to see what side is facing up.
Is it heads? Is it tails? Perhaps it is both!
No we are not focusing on flipping coins, in today’s blog article, but it does serve as a good illustration, for us in our spiritual lives.
Let me explain
The coin toss is something that we have used since the time of the Roman Empire (or so historians seem to think). I happen to believe, that it likely goes back further than that, as the Bible clearly has references to ‘Drawing Lots’ in the Old Testament. Now, choosing a stick from a group of varying sizes, from a hand masking their actual length.
This was done to determine or ‘divine’ order and sequence. I have to surmise, that this process of ‘drawing lots’ is far more sophisticated than flipping a coin because the result of flipping a coin is a binary decision tool, drawing lots established an order.
I can’t possibly imagine that with the very first coin being hammered into to shape and an image stamped into the metal, that the coin toss soon ensued and the binary ‘either’ / ‘or’ result was perfected.
The thing I want to point out, is that regardless of the outcome, of the toss; the reality of the object being used was still a ‘coin’.
A coin that had two sides. You couldn’t get a coin with one side because why wouldn’t be a coin at all. Any coin you might take up would have two sides to it. If you were to flip it that coin would end up on the back side of a hand with one side facing up and the other side facing down.
But regardless, it would still be a coin.
Faith and Trust
Our belief in Jesus Christ, as the perfect Lamb of God, is similar to that coin. Just as it, has two sides; a heads and a tails; so does our belief in Jesus.
When we consider our ‘belief’ in Jesus, we immediately consider the fact that we have ‘faith’ in Christ. We have faith in God.
I would point out that on the other side of this coin of ‘belief’ is something called ‘trust’. And while faith seems to be predominant like ‘heads’ on a coin; trust is often not considered as part of the package. But it trust which like the ‘tails’ side of the coin give believe wings.
But I would contend that without both, we in fact don’t have a ‘coin’ of belief, because if we have faith in Jesus, we must also trust in Jesus as well.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (HCSB)
The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.
He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit.
The man (or woman) who trusts in the Lord. Exudes confidence. Sound a bit like faith doesn’t it? Puts down roots near seeking out the water with no fear of heat scorching it, because it is fully entrenched in that source of nourishment and refreshment. As a result, it is always healthy and bearing fruit.
Trust does sound a lot like faith. It should, it’s part of the same coin; belief.
Trust takes faith and converts it into action. Trust is the activator that produces evidence of our faith in our lives.
2 Corinthians 1:9 (HCSB)
Indeed, we personally had a death sentence within ourselves, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.
Here in Corinthians, we see that binary choice of putting out ‘trust’ in God rather than ourselves. We either trust God or we don’t. Be that with our finances, our families, our friends, our jobs, or even our health. Giving your life to Christ, divests our interest in our life, and invests it in God’s plan for us. It is the truest sense of ‘In God We Trust’.
Here again we see trust as something we do.
Hebrews 2:13 (HCSB)
Again, I will trust in Him. And again, Here I am with the children God gave Me.
Again; so it was done at one point and it is being done ‘again’. A willful choice to exercise faith. Trust is what ‘exercises’ that faith.
Perhaps, we might just consider that ‘trust’ is faith put into action. Or, faith being demonstrated by an action.
I suppose, if we were to apply that definition to ‘trust’, we could say ‘hope’ is faith in anticipation, of future trust.
Faith is not belief until it is demonstrated with our trust. If this were not the case, then all we would have to do is to have faith (the heart knowledge) that Jesus is the Savior, and we would have belief. But just as with our illustration of the coin being tossed; a coin has two sides. You can’t get away with a one sided coin, and you can’t have believe without both faith and trust.
Faith Without Works
We’ve talked about trust; a lot about trust, but lets ‘flip’ belief over and take a look at faith.
James 2:14-18 (HCSB)
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him?
If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself.
But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.
I tried to cut out parts of this passage, for brevity, but was unsuccessful.
Trust isn’t mentioned here directly but trust is inferred. What I mean by that, is that from this we can gather that a person can say they have faith. And because of that faith that they believe that Christ is the savior.
Remember how I said trust was the ‘activator’ for faith? Paul illustrates this very well in this passage. If faith with out works is dead; what does that do for our belief?
It make our version belief nothing more than knowledge.
James 2:19-20 (HCSB)
You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe — and they shudder.
Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless?
The Coin – Belief
Great faith? It shows in our actions. Actions alone are not the demonstration of faith, it is only when those actions are the result of our trust in whom we have faith in. That is where we see the entire coin of belief.
And don’t bother tossing it. It matters not which side it lands. It is best that we hold onto this coin with all we have in us.
Hebrews 12:1-2 (HCSB)
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
Run the race keeping your eyes on Jesus the source and perfecter of our faith. See your trust in Him stir you to action to strive for the incorruptible crown.