Faith is so often misunderstood, and in fact is frequently confused with Belief. The Bible gives us the best definition: Hebrews 11:1 (Faith in Action)
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
I have often wondered why Jesus’ disciples followed Him when he first met them and said “follow me.” They all had jobs or trades and were being asked by a man to leave it all behind to follow a man with no job, no political standing, no wealth, and no obvious plan of action. They clearly sensed something special about this man and responded out of faith.
Luke 8:43-48 teaches us the healing power of faith. “And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
To me, one of the most amazing displays of faith is in Genesis 22 when Abraham nearly sacrifices his son Isaac based on Abraham’s faith in God. Faith can move mountains but the lack of faith can be nearly paralyzing. In Matthew 17 the disciples were unable to heal a boy suffering with seizures. Subsequently, Jesus heals the boy and the disciples wonder why they were unable. His response in Matthew 17:20 cuts to the heart of faith. “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Faith is the essential ingredient for God to come into your life and move in a supernatural way that will defy his own laws of nature and physics. You may not get what you want through faith, but you certainly will receive what you need through faith.
I love the story in Mark where Jesus calmed the storms after the disciples were afraid for their lives. His response to the disciples is still applicable to all of us today. “He said to his disciples, Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40). Another example of the lack of faith is that of Thomas who refused to believe that Jesus had conquered death until he saw Him with his own eyes. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Matthew 13:53-58 describes Jesus returning to his hometown to begin teaching in their synagogue. The people were amazed at his wisdom and powers but doubted his authenticity since they knew he was a carpenter’s son. “He did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.” (Matthew 13:58)
I ask you to examine your heart. Are you truly living in faith? Do you have absolutely trust in God? Are you withholding some things that you want to control on your own? Nothing is impossible for you if you have faith. A life in faith will provide a joy that surpasses all understanding. Have faith, have joy, and have Christ in your heart!
Todd is a Member of Gulf South Men, President of drtoddshupe.com and a Christian blogger at toddshupe.com and todd-shupe.com.