If you are anything like me, the word faith is tad bit overwhelming. It’s one of those concepts in Christianity that is often abstract. It’s not concrete and tangible. So it can be hard to grasp sometimes.
I like the things that I can touch and see. But that’s not what faith is.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us:
Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
To have faith in God, His promises, and His Word means that we stand confident and assured that they exist — whether or not we see Him at work. To have this kind of faith is easier said than done, but it is possible.
When I was thinking about my one word for 2015, a few words came to mind. But the Lord really highlighted one of them for me. FAITH. For some time now, He has been calling me to greater faith, deeper faith. This is difficult for me because I’ve walked through countless seasons, that I call “Job Seasons.” I’ve walked through extreme lack, hurt, loss, and pain.
When I became a Christian, those seasons of hurt and pain didn’t stop occurring. I just learned to respond differently to them.
Here’s my pattern. Something would happen. I would freak out. I would pray, but not truly believe that God would come through. But then God would come through even better than I could have imagined. I would be beyond grateful. A little time would pass, and the cycle would begin again.
This pattern brought me so much guilt. I wondered if I had more faith, the trials wouldn’t come, or at least wouldn’t happen as often as they did.
But that couldn’t be further from how God views the subject of faith. I did a little digging in the Scriptures to get an idea of what He thinks about faith. Some verses were familiar, and some were not. I was encouraged by the numerous facets of faith that lie within His Word.
In the book of Romans, I read that our very faith comes from God Himself. I don’t have to muster up enough strength or energy to create it. He gives it freely to all.
Then, in Luke, I discovered that our faith can be increased. We don’t have to settle for the faith that we’ve always had. If we want more, all we have to do is ask.
In 2 Corinthians 5:7, we are called to live by faith and not by sight. I know the truth of God’s Word, but sadly, I don’t often live by that truth. I live and respond to the circumstances around me. I react to what other people have or haven’t done.
There is this whole other realm that I forget about too easily. God is not confined to this earth and the natural. He is beyond time and space and even our thoughts. He operates in the supernatural. As His daughter, He wants me to live out of that realm.
Throughout the Gospels, I found countless stories about Jesus performing miracles. Usually, somewhere in the story, He would refer to someone’s faith. Some received a miracle and some did not. Those who did receive a miracle, He would tell them that “your faith has made you well,” or “your faith has saved you,” or “your faith has healed you.” Now the Father is not restricted by our faith, but He does many times respond to our faith.
The beauty of God’s heart for us is that even the times when we are completely faithless, He is faithful still.
Just when I thought I was done, God still had more to say about faith.
In Acts 11:24 it says, “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord.”
I have read about Barnabas before, but I didn’t remember this verse. The Holy Spirit brought many people to the Lord through his strong faith. He had the faith that the Lord had given him, but somewhere during his life, it became a strong faith. That’s what I want! I want a strong faith that encourages those around me to both believe in God and believe God. That is a big deal!
Strong faith is developed through trusting in God’s ways — in both the wonderful seasons and the challenging ones.
But the book of Hebrews brought this journey of faith home for me.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Faith pleases God. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. Big faith. Little faith. Strong faith. Weak faith. It doesn’t matter. Your faith pleases Him. You please Him.
My prayer for this year is to be full of a faith that is utterly . . .