The Faith Factor
Bible Reading: Hebrews 11:1-6
What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. Hebrews 11:1
The same Kim who can see her friend Robin becoming a Christian has a hard time seeing what God has to do with her schoolwork, so she constantly worries about her grades. The Ian who sees God at work as a result of his quiet time sometimes thinks he alone is responsible for his financial needs, so he seldom gives any of his hard-earned cash to God in the church offering.
What kind of faith is that?
Faith is like the pitcher on a baseball team—you can’t have much of a game without one. The Bible uses strong words to describe the role of faith in the Christian life: “It is impossible to please God without faith” (Hebrews 11 :6); “It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (Romans 1:17); “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23, NIV). The apostle Paul said faith was one of the three great qualities in the Christian life-along with hope and love (see 1 Corinthians 13:13). You can’t get along without faith.
But at times faith can be slippery. Sometimes your faith can peer into a situation and see God at work. Other times the eyelids of doubt, worry, or spiritual ignorance droop across the eyes of faith, blinding you to what God wants to do. Sometimes you can say, “I do believe!” But other times you beg God to help you trust that he really wants—and will do—what is good for you. If you ever feel stuck between belief and unbelief, you’re normal.
God’s Word flashes two pieces of encouragement as brightly as neon signs for us. First, God is the one who deals out faith to begin with (see Romans 12:3). You don’t have to earn it or buy it. God gives it. Second, faith grows when you dig into the Word of God (see Romans 10:17). As you bury yourself in God’s Word through reading, studying, memorizing, and sharing the Bible, you can expect your faith to have more “I do believe” and less “Help me in my unbelief.”
Rest assured: Jesus’ disciples—even though they watched him up close and personal for three years—were often short on faith. Can you imagine? With their own eyes they saw Jesus raise the dead, heal the sick, calm the storm, and cast out demons—and they still struggled with faith.
When you wish you had bigger trust in God, pray these words straight from the mouths of Jesus’ closest disciples, and be confident God will grow your faith in him: “We need more faith; tell us how to get it” (Luke 17:5).
REFLECT: How are you going to grow in faith? What is God’s plan to help?
PRAY: Say thanks to God for providing the Bible to build your faith.