Part 1 of 2
Do you sometimes wonder what “faith” is? Do you often wish you had more faith?
The Bible has much to say about faith. There are more than 360 verses in the NT alone that speak of faith or being faithful. A key faith verse is Heb. 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
So, what is faith? I think it’s best to start with what faith is not, because I believe that what we think is faith often isn’t faith.
My personal journey requires faith. I want to make sure I have the real thing. Join me on my “what is faith?” exploration. Following are some of my conclusions so far:
Faith is not belief.
Belief is something you can come up with on your own. We can believe things that aren’t true – about God or people or situations. We can believe the right things, but not act on them – faith seems to have an active component.
Believing the right things can lead us into faith, but it’s not the same as faith.
In Mark 16:14 the resurrected Jesus appears to the eleven disciples and “rebuked them” for two things: 1. “their lack of faith and 2. their stubborn refusal to believe” those who reported they had seen Him after He had risen from the dead.
When we mistake “prayers of belief” for “prayers of faith”, we may pray for things that God is not leading us to pray for.
And when we do not get what we pray for, then we feel that prayer doesn’t work, or God doesn’t love us; that God is powerless, or just not interested in our plight, that God has more important things to attend to than responding to our requests. Or, that God can’t be trusted.
The struggle we have with faith is often not a struggle with faith at all, but with trust. Many people who believe in God do not trust God.
If we trusted God, we would not be so easily disappointed when we don’t get our prayers answered in our timing – or when God says, “No.” when we want Him to say, “Yes”.
Faith is not feelings.
We can feel good about something we want to happen, but that’s not the same as faith. Because we can feel good about the wrong things if we’re not walking in a current relationship with our heavenly Father.
Faith is not desire.
We can want the wrong things. Or we can want the right things at the wrong time. Though the Scriptures say God will give us the desires of our heart – there is a condition to it. The Scripture says if we “delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our heart.” Are you delighting in the Lord, enjoying fellowship with Him?
Faith is not something we can get by struggling for it, something we can earn, manufacture, or create by professing we have it. It is not a magic formula. So, what is faith?
What faith is:
Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (KJV)
Faith is assurance, knowing you have something that does not yet appear.
We have often made faith a condition of the mind – but it is really a condition of the spirit. It is a grace of the heart.
There’s spiritual faith (which I call “real faith”) and there’s human faith.
John’s Gospel refers to people putting “their faith in Him” (Jesus)– yet most of his early followers later turned away from Him. They had human faith, not spiritual faith.
If the faith you operate under results in your turning away from Jesus and not trusting God, you need a different kind of faith – it’s not REAL FAITH.
What kind of faith do you operate under? Human faith, or spiritual faith? Next installment we’ll look at “spiritual faith”: what it is and where it comes from.
Take me to “Real Faith” part 2
Posted on April 10, 2011, in Christian Growth, My Journey and tagged belief, Christianity, faith, God, healing, Jesus, marci alves, marcie alves, marcy alves, marcy devers, Religion & Spirituality, spiritual journey. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.