I’ve ridden this spaceship called earth for quite a few rotations around the sun. (How did you like that colorful tactic for not telling you how old I am?) In that time, I’ve experienced great loss, family health crises, divorce, natural consequences of sinful choices and many other things we humans experience in a lifetime. At this point, there are some things I know beyond a shadow of a doubt: God is who he says he is, he will do what His Word says he will do, he loves me with an unconditional love, he created me and wants his very best for me (always!), and he is in control of this universe he created.
This faith that I have in God gives me peace in the midst of trials and confidence that everything that happens to me and to my loved ones will be used by God to make us more like him. Nothing anyone can say or do would make me believe that God is anything but good. Nothing that happens could make me believe that God has turned his back on me. And nothing I could read or hear would make me doubt that God is the creator of the universe or the intelligent designer of yours truly. I believe God’s Word from cover to cover and trust his plan for me. I have faith. The definition of faith is, “to give up, surrender, or commit”. When we come to Christ, we give up our own desires, surrender to his leadership and call, and commit to live our lives in honor of him.
When you and I come to Christ it is only by God’s gift of faith that we do it. We cannot work our way to God through good deeds or worldly success. Ephesians 2:8-9 says this:”For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”It is only by God’s grace that we can come to him in faith. How does God give us this faith? Well, saving faith comes packaged in the gospel message—the message of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made for us. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” When the gospel message goes out and people respond in repentance, turning to God, they are receiving the gift of faith and are then regenerated and given eternal life. And we cannot please God without faith and belief in him. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”
One of the outstanding verses on faith is Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The word, substance, is the key. In the Greek it is the word, hupostasis, which means the opposite of hypothesis or theory! Faith is substance. It is reality—and that reality is the Word of God. One person put it like this: Faith enables the believer to treat the future as present and the invisible as seen.
You may be saying, “I know someone who seems to have so much faith and never seems to get rattled by life’s difficulties. I would love to have faith like that.” Well, the good news is, our faith can and does grow as we go through life. God tests our faith and as we pass the tests, our faith grows.(James 1:3) We can also pray that our faith would increase. (Luke 17:5, Luke 11:9-12) The Bible says that God continually works in us to sanctify us, making us more like him. Hebrews 12:2 calls Jesus “the author and finisher (or perfector) of our faith”
Just like with other godly traits that God builds and refines in us once we come to him, we can cooperate with him as he ripens and strengthens our faith. We do this by regularly spending time in the Word, praying to God (when God answers our prayers it strengthens our faith), and spending time in community with other believers (strong faith can be catchy!).
In addition, I believe that the spiritual incubator of a (truly) Christian home can do a lot to instill and solidify strong faith in the children raised there. I believe that God blesses godly parents who pass on their faith and who model unwavering trust in God. I am blessed to have been raised in such a home.
If you have never accepted God’s free gift of eternal life, do so today. By faith, believe that Jesus is God’s Son and that he died to pay your sin debt and rose again to prepare a place for you in heaven. Commit to turn away from your old life and towards Jesus. Give up trying to work your way to heaven. Instead, come to Jesus by faith…and witness the fruit of a life lived for him.
You, too, can have faith—an extraordinary, unshakable, confidence in God’s promises, power, and presence. All you have to do is ask.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7