2 Corinthians 5:7 (New American Standard Bible)
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Faith is what pleases God. Faith is what justified Abraham, and what helped Abraham was that he had conversations with God, and he knew God’s heart was good.
Faith cannot be effective without a deep revelation and experience of God’s love, because this is how trust is built up, and we cannot give away something we have not received ourselves.
In Galatians 5:6 we read that faith works by love and in 1 Corinthians 13, we see that even if we have faith, and we prophesy, and we take care of the poor, but we do not do it in love, we have nothing. And the chapter ends on the words that love is the greatest of the three:
1 Corinthians 13:13 (Amplified Bible)
13 And so faith, hope, love abide [faith-conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope-joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love-true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Faith is what moves our mountains, our problems. So how can we have more faith? By coming to know God’s goodness and justice through the scriptures and by studying the love of God from His perspective and not ours, His agape love.
God’s agape love is the kind of action of love that we would find uncomfortable, it comes from God’s willingness to do the intolerable suffering of whipping and dying on the cross to set us sinners free. Being parents gives us a glimpse of this agape love. There is nothing more unbearable to a parent then to watch their child make mistakes and suffer, they would rather suffer in their children’s place but so often they can’t.
Faith also comes by practising our faith muscle. We practise our faith muscle by doing what the Bible teaches us to do, by doing what Jesus would do. It stops us from reasoning in our own natural minds and tells us to do things God’s way. And when we start to see the power that is available through faith, we are encouraged to try some more, and so our confidence in Christ starts to build up.
God is the faithful One, He will not break His promises. When He says something He will do it. But we have lost the power of our promises by experience because we so often back up from our own promises. A major one in society today is the level of divorce. This makes it very difficult indeed to really understand the true faithfulness of God.
I pray that you would come to know by experience, not only the love of God, but also His faithfulness in His promises. There is nothing more faith building than to see answers to our prayers.
- What helps our faith to be built up, and what is an essential ingredient for faith?
- How can we best practise our faith muscle?
- Why can it be so difficult in today’s society to understand God’s faithful promises?