What is Faith and How Do We Get It?
There have been times when I’ve cried out “It’s too burdensome for me. And then there have been occasions when the going has been so rough, the battle so wearying, the running so tiring, the contest so heavy that I have thought, “Lord, how could you ever use me, I might as well quit. I’m no good anyway”. Can anyone reading this relate? In one sense or another, have you been there?
What kept me? What kept you? What will keep us now during this Coronavirus Pandemic, and in the future when another crisis comes. There will be more!
Well, the bottom line and the crux of the matter is, the faith I have in God kept me. Understand, not my faith in faith, but my faith in a God whom I believe loves me and I love Him. When you love someone you will do anything for them. We may not be able to do great things but we can do small things with great love. “To every man is given a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3)
1) FAITH is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8) but the power to exercise it is ours.
2) FAITH is the link/hand by which we take hold upon divine offers of mercy and grace. Christ invites us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved.
3) FAITH is trusting God. (John 14:1) We will not follow someone we don’t trust. Trust develops as we abide in Him (listening to Him speak through scripture, learning to know Him more intimately) we discover the beauty of His character, the depths of His love, and the perfection of His plan.
4) FAITH is knowing that God is real and grasping His never failing promises.
5) FAITH is a decision of the will to act on what the mind believes is true. We read something in Scripture, e.g., “God became man, lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death for my sins, and rose again to glory so that I can have eternal life” and in our spirit the Holy Spirit says, ‘Yes that’s true,’ and when we hear it and accept the good news, it is an act of faith.
6) FAITH does not make God real. On the contrary, faith is the response to a real God who wants to be known to us. There is no power in faith itself. The power is found in the object of faith:
Jesus Christ.” We must be deeply rooted in the word (he talks to us) and in prayer (we talk to Him).
How Do We Get Faith? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of God.” (Romans 10:17) We all have selective hearing. If we like the message from another person, we receive it. If we do not care for the message, in most cases, we ignore it. Most important is hearing and adhering to what God speaks to us through His Word. We cannot neglect the spiritual emphasis of life and expect to be strong when hard, trying times come.
I’m at another time when I must exercise my faith gift from God. I must not be shaken by the death of my brother-in-law in Ohio 3 weeks ago and topping that off, his wife, my sister Ann, passed away early this morning even as I’m writing this article. “God is my refuge and strength. I will not fear”.
God has promised to “Heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.” He said it, and I believe it.
We are living in the closing moments of earth’s history. The future is full of unexpected challenges. May I encourage you to not be shaken by Coronavirus or any other unsettled state of society. Give more heed to the Word of God. Look to Him who is the author and finisher of your faith. Cultivate a joyous, more intimate walk with the Lord. You and I only need courage to face what is in store; accept it, enjoy it to the fullest, function within it the best we are able; and finally share God’s love with others. There is so much we can do to bring an early spring into the lives of those around us. There is a great joy in the challenge of facing the unknown– it’s a resting joy of exercising faith in God knowing that the future is in His hands. We must by faith know that we are in His keeping.
Katherine Davis, Elder – March 23, 2020