Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Having More Faith?"

(Thanks to my dear brother, friend, and ministry partner Steve K. for inspiration on this one.)

"Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).

A good friend recently raised the issue of "having more faith." In a Sunday School class he attends, a lady confessed that she feels as if she needs an increase in faith. This led to a discussion as to how that happens in the hearts of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.

While it is good and proper that we should desire to grow in our faith, the truth of the matter is that such growth actually requires that we direct our focus away from ourselves. Rather than "having more faith," we need to consider the faithfulness of God. "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). Our faith is directly proportional to His trustworthiness, and our knowledge thereof.

We trust a person to the degree we know them. When our children were little, I would only leave them someone whom I knew well enough that I could have much assurance of their determination to faithfully honor my trust. The issue did not involve my attempt to "have more faith" in my children's babysitters, but rather my knowledge and subsequent confidence in the babysitter's trustworthiness.

From womb to tomb, the faithfulness of God resounds in our lives, declaring that no one has ever trusted in the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and been disappointed for doing so. And no one ever will. The more we relate to God by His Word, His Spirit, and the fellowship of our trusting brothers and sisters in Christ, the more our confidence in the Lord Jesus will grow and flourish. Faith will always be a challenge in our lives because our spiritual adversaries confront us on every front concerning this elemental aspect of relating to God. "Fight the good fight of faith" commanded the Apostle Paul, primarily because this is where the battles of life are most waged (I Timothy 6:12). In this sense, we do need to "have more faith" in the same way that a soldier needs enough ammunition. However, we arm ourselves not by attempting to arm ourselves, but rather by "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). The more we know Him in both living and doctrinal terms, the more we will find ourselves - often to our own surprise - trusting the God who will not and cannot lie.

"Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly."
(II Thessalonians 1:2-3)

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