Why does it seem that some people have a lot of faith while others have very little? I have been doing quite a bit of faith-thinking lately. There is a lot of stuff going on in my life right now and I often ask God ‘what’s going on here? What is this stuff leading to?’
The answer I keep getting is ‘Trust Me, just trust Me’.
Trusting requires faith – faith that who you are trusting is capable of backing up what he says he will do. Do you believe what he says? Enough to act on it?
A lot of people think belief and faith are the same thing, but I think there is a difference in the two words. I can say I believe something but until I act on that belief faith is not displayed. So to me, faith is the confidence to act on my belief.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This can be a difficult verse to understand because when we think of substance and evidence we usually think in solid physical terms. How does that work with hoping for things not seen? I did some Greek word studies to help make it a bit clearer. I looked up substance, hope and evidence.
The Greek word for substance is hupostasis which has several translations. There are two that really make sense in this passage – underlying support and title-deed. Hupostasis means underlying support as in the foundation for something. In ancient times hupostasis was used to refer to a title-deed or proof that something belonged to a person. The title-deed was the support or foundation for a claim to ownership.
Elpizo is the Greek word for hope and it means confident expectation or confidence.
And the Greek word for evidence is apodeixi which means proof or receipt.
So Hebrews 11:1 could be read as saying, “Now faith is the foundation of your confident expectation for and the proof of things you do not see.” Or “Now faith is the title-deed or proof of your confidence in receiving what you already own but do not yet see.”
How do we get this faith? That is a question that causes much debate. It is like the chicken and egg question, which came first? Some people believe you receive faith when you are saved and some believe you first have to have faith in order to be saved.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. So we know faith comes from God, but not when it comes.
I didn’t find anything to tell me when faith comes to a person, however I personally think it is in every person. I believe it is a little seed God plants in each of us when He creates us. And that little seed of faith has to be nourished in order to grow. Some people have had their faith seed nourished as they grew and some haven’t.
Jesus told His disciples to have faith like a mustard seed. Now a mustard seed is tiny, but it can grow into something much larger than its original size. But it needs nourishment for that to happen. That nourishment for your faith is God’s word.
Romans 10:17 states “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” When you hear God’s word the seed of faith will begin to grow. If you continue to hear (read, study) His word, the seed will continue to grow. The more you get God’s word into you, the more your faith will grow.
Nourish your faith by:
- Hearing God’s word. Listen to the Bible by audio and through sermons on the TV, the radio, and in person at church.
- Reading God’s word. Study your Bible ‘to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.’ 2 Timothy 2:15.
- Memorizing God’s word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.’ Psalm 119:11
- Sharing how you have seen God answer prayers in your life and the lives of others.
As you do these things you will grow in God’s wisdom and your faith will grow just like that mustard seed Jesus talked about.
Faith is the power of God that enables you to have confidence in the promises He makes in His word even while you can’t see Him at work. Be confident that He will bring it – whatever it is- to pass when the time is right.
His will. His way. His timing.
Join me as I march forth today determined to trust in the Lord and to…
Be a blessing,
If you would like to share how you grow your faith please do so in the comments section, where you can also choose to follow this blog with a tick in a box, if you want to be notified when more writing is posted.