God’s righteousness is promised. His faithfulness is steadfast. The works of His hands are holy. God is the promise maker and the promise keeper. He is worthy of our trust in all things and His word endures forever. 

What does it mean to live by faith?

There are many passages in Scripture that teach us how we’re supposed to live as children of God. One of my favorites, 2 Corinthians 5:7, tells us to “Walk by faith and not by sight.” 

Another passage, perhaps one of the most important in the Gospel, Romans 1:17, tells us that the gift of righteousness comes from God and is manifested within us through our belief in Jesus Christ. Our relationship with God, which had been broken by sin, is restored through Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus’ life and teachings, moreover, show us exactly how we are supposed to live as faithful children of God.

For in the gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

Romans 1:17

This year marks the tenth anniversary of my niece, Cassie’s, passing. Her walk of faith changed us all.

Cassie, the middle child and only daughter of my brother and sister-in-law on my husband’s side of the family, was only 33 when she lost her battle with breast cancer in the spring of 2013. At the time of her death, she and her high school sweetheart and husband of ten years had two young children and a beautiful life ahead of them. 

The news of her diagnosis was a shock to the entire family. The ensuing years of treatments, of ups and downs, highs and lows, hope and despair were heartbreaking. We constantly prayed for the best, even as we prepared for the worst. 

It was difficult to comprehend the why of it all. I found myself praying fervently for a miracle while at the same time questioning God’s plan. I didn’t do this because I was a bad person, I did it because I’m prone to all the doubts and fears, we as humans, often succumb to. Quite simply, I didn’t like what was happening and so I had a hard time accepting it. Instead, I focused on my questions, my doubts, and my uncertainty, and my faith waivered.

God calls us to remain steadfast through the difficult times when our faith is being challenged because that’s when we need Him most. 

One of the things I’ll always remember about Cassie during that time was her unwavering faith and the peace and light that surrounded her as she fought that battle. She was determined to live to the fullest no matter how much or how little time she had left. Above all, she trusted in God’s plan for her life, accepted His will, and allowed her faith to feed and strengthen her spirit even as her body was losing the fight.

In the end, it was Cassie who showed me exactly what living by faith truly means. Until the moment of her death, no matter how bad things got, she put her trust in God and held tightly to her faith. There was no anger, resentment, or despair. There was only peace.

That’s exactly what it means to be faithful and just, after all. Though we are not perfect, we strive to follow God’s word and not stray from His teachings or commands. More importantly, because we choose to trust God and to live in alignment with Him, we believe in the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ. More than anything, this is the legacy of faith Cassie exemplified.

I couldn’t know then the impact her life and death would have on my own journey of faith, or that her example would be a beacon of hope and a source of strength as I climbed my way out of the darkness of addiction and depression.

The way of righteousness and living by faith leads to life, not death.

Image from Adobe Stock Images | Licensed for use.

As promise maker, God guaranteed us the gift of salvation by grace through faith. As promise keeper, He fulfilled that covenant by sending His only Son. 

Jesus took upon His shoulders all of our debts, all of our sins, and all of our transgressions. He paid the price for our redemption through His suffering and death. He secured our salvation and opened the gates of Heaven through His resurrection. Through our hope and faith in Jesus, we are returned to God and made righteous and just in His name.

 Thus, everyone who believes in Jesus has been justified and already has peace with God. And having been so unconditionally loved by God, it is our duty to live righteously, to walk by faith, and to trust Him in all things.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1.

JN Fenwick ©2023