Faith (1)

I have long wrestled with the question: “Is faith something I can develop?  If so, how do I do it?”

For most of my Christian life, I have felt deficient in faith.  I have felt that somehow I needed to do something to increase my faith and see Christ move in the world around me.

In other words, my focus was on me.  I was trying to crank up my faith to a level where I could see friends placing their faith in Christ or witness miraculous answers to prayer.

I am thinking about faith right now because it is something our whole church is considering for the next month.  Our pastor is preaching on faith and we are discussing it in small groups.

So, I’m going to reflect on faith in a couple of posts this weekend.

This morning, I looked again at the great definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

That is an intimidating statement – “being certain of what we do not see.”  There are other comments by Jesus and the apostles about faith which are just as humbling.

Clearly, the write of Hebrews is right.  Faith is not concrete – something I can touch.  Yet it is more than wishful thinking.  There is certainty involved.

I am as certain about the fact that I belong to Jesus Christ and will be with him in heaven as I am that I am alive and breathing right now.  That conviction has sunk into my heart and mind.

That is clearly faith. 

But, in everyday living, I have allowed doubts to seep into my mind because God does not always give me what I ask for.  I have asked myself: “Is it because I don’t have enough faith?”

I think the answer is: “Sometimes, but not always.”  Sometimes I don’t get what I want because it is not for my good or for other reasons – not because of my lack of faith.  Sometimes, I don’t get it because I don’t pray with faith.

The point our pastor made last Sunday was that our faith is in a person – Jesus Christ.  My focus needs to be on Jesus with the assurance that he is working all things out for good (Romans 8:28).

In Hebrews 12:2, the writer says: “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.” (Good News Bible)

My faith depends on Jesus.  He planted faith in my heart.  He lives within me.

But, wonder of wonders, God chooses to work through me to bring about his purposes.  So, somehow, I must cooperate with God to see the fruit I cherish.  I can’t do it on my own.

Surely, this is a step to growing faith.

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