What is Faith?

Here is a term that we throw about in encouragement to one another and often use it ourselves in reality, almost every day, but possibly do not even realize that we are expressing “Faith” in so much more, or in so many various ways.  Let us look at the Bible for the concept from its pages.  Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

The word “Faith” appears some 231 times in Scripture, so it is found in a wide array of various contexts and verses, from Deuteronomy 32:20 “And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end [shall be]: for they [are] a very froward [Fickle and Contrary] generation, children in whom [is] no faith.”  Down to Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”  It is interesting to note that the first reference of “Believers” shows that they have “No-Faith” corresponding to “No Action” and yet the last reference of “Believers” shows the “Redeemed” as being “Full of Faith” by taking “Full Action.”  James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  Action speaks louder than words. 

Jesus asked this question found in Luke 18:8 “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”  Collins Dictionary on “Faith”; “1. Strong belief in something, esp. without proof 2. A specific system of religious beliefs 3. Complete confidence or trust, such as in a person or remedy 4. Allegiance to a person or cause 5. Bad faith = dishonesty 6. Good faith = honesty.”  From the first “Faith” reference in Deuteronomy we see “5. Bad faith = dishonesty” and in the last reference for “Faith” in Revelation, we see “6. Good faith = honesty.”

How often do we express or activate “Faith?”  There was a wonderful Supermarket advertisement on TV some time back, the Lady purchased her groceries, swiped her Eftpos Card, and then said repeatedly to herself, “Please go through, please go through.”  Her “Faith” was low, she knew that in the tough times she was going through, that from the minimal “Essentials” in her trolley, that she would have to somehow stretch them even further than seemed possible, and this, her last purchase was going to take her “Card Balance” to just above Zero, she was then officially “Broke” until the next “Pay-Day” and she estimated that she could barely afford what she had gathered, but “Please go through,” “Please go through” was the maximum of her “Faith.”

Jesus had a desperate father come to him for the healing and restoration of his precious son.  When challenged that he needed “much faith” and belief his response is recorded here, Mark 9:23-24 “Jesus said unto him, if thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  His “little Faith” grew, and he received a completely healed and restored son, and way much more “Faith” than with which he had left home with; while bearing to Jesus a frail and sick son, but together they bounded home with abounding “Faith.”

We exercise faith in when we insert some coins into the “Parking Meter,” that the machine will honour them and give us the credits that are in the same value as what was stamped onto the coins.  It would be most discouraging if you put in $12 of coins and the machine displayed $0-15 Cents for your hard earned $12.  You have just exercised “Faith” in your money, and you do that on a daily basis.

Quotes; “Did God speak but one word, you would at once be still in death. Day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, God works by His infinite power to keep you alive. It is He who supplies the air which keeps life in the body. Should God neglect man as man neglects God, what would become of the race?”  {3MR 333}  “Every ray of sunshine, every morsel of food, or drop of water, is a gift of redeeming love, and pleads with the sinner to be reconciled to God.”  {SD 241}  “It is through His power that summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, day and night, follow each other in their regular succession. It is by His word that vegetation flourishes, that leaves appear, and the flowers bloom. Every good thing we have, each ray of sunshine and shower of rain, every morsel of food, every moment of life, is a gift of love, from God.”  {FLB 59} 

So if we can daily exercise “Faith” in products, services, people and systems, then how come “God” gets the, “Too Hard Basket,” when he asks us to have “Faith,” in him, God so bountifully provides for Sinner and Saint alike, whether they believe and have “Faith,” or not, in God, or even believe that he exists, or not.  So why not exercise all the “Faith” that you have, and like the despondent Dad cry out, “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  Why not pray this as a prayer right now, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

Just like your muscles, through exercise build strength, and with it more ability to take on more things, the same with “Faith,” just give it some exercise and nourishment and it will blossom, and become a crucial benefiter as you overcome moment by moment and day by day.