As a Christian, you already know that FAITH is important. You have heard about it in many sermons. You have read about FAITH in the Holy Bible many times. Yet like me, you might not have internalized it as much as you desired to. For me, all this has changed. I am excited about the upgrade in faith I received in the last few months. I am so delighted to share this with you.
The important question we need to have a definitive answer within us is this. Why is FAITH so important? How much FAITH do we have? Are our words & actions expressions of the FAITH we have? If not, how can we change it?
We know that without FAITH it’s impossible to please God (Ref. Hebrews chapter 11, verse 6). The verse goes like this… “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”.
Have no doubt, faith is most important for us to have. God gives great value to the faith we have. Hence we need to grow this.
But this concerned me much, as I could not feel the ‘muscle of faith’ in my life growing or ever existing in my life. At this point of time, what Jesus said to me came as a greatly relieving downpour to a farmer caught up in a drought. It sounded like this for me. Immediately a thought flashed me about what Jesus told his disciples, even if your faith is as small as the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains. The awareness of the great significance of this verse popped up in my spirit. From being a small seed of a date palm tree, over the days & week, the truth of this verse grew into a mighty palm tree.
To get the context of it, here is the verse in the King James Version (KJV), (Gospel of Matthew Chapter 17, 19 to 21) 19: “Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?” 20: “And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you”. 21: “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting”.
Here is the same portion as per The Passion Translation (TPT). 19: “Later the disciples came to him privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”” 20: “He told them, “It was because of your lack of faith. I promise you, if you have faith inside of you no bigger than the size of a small mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move away from here and go over there,’ and you will see it move! There is nothing you couldn’t do!” 21: “But this kind is cast out only through prayer and fasting.”
At first reading this portion, came as a huge relief, I no longer had to strive for a huge mass of faith, since even with a small mustard seed faith, I have the grace to move mountains that I come across in my life situations.
How then can we increase our faith? This is a question that many of us have. The answer is given explicitly in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans Chapter 10, verse 17. So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. As an explanation, here it is. To start with, hearing the word of God is certainly the 1st step. To hear, you will have to start reading. Many find reading the Bible aloud gives them greater focus in hearing it. 2nd step, after hearing the word, over the period of time, you understand it, then with the passage of time, you will start hearing what the Spirit Of God (within the Living Word) builds the Faith within you.
In Romans, Chapter 4, verse 18 to 21 we read how Abraham gave the greatest importance to what the Lord God told him that he would be blessed with a son & that he, Abraham would be the father of many nations. He kept remembering about this promise of God often through the days & nights for many seasons. He believed that what God promised Him, HE was able to deliver. Abraham considered neither his age (100) nor that Sarah was beyond childbearing age. He considered only what God told him. The fact about his body and his wife’s body did not mean anything to him, in the light & truth of the word God gave him. This was the faith of Abraham. Here is the verse as mentioned in the Bible. Romans 4:18: Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19: Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20: Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21: being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.
Abraham & his expressions of faith
Any mention of faith, needs father Abraham’s life explained. In various stages, his life was an expression of faith. Only some of these are cited in the Bible. Let us list these.
- When he left Ur of Chaldees to the promised land
- When he choose to offer the land to his nephew & his openness to accept whatever was not chosen
- At 100 years of age & in spite of his wife Sarah’s womb being dead, his hope & expectation of God’s promise for a child
- Obedience to sacrifice the son provided by God as promise, when the Lord God asked him
Each one of these is so very pressing for us to dwell in & get our faith to grow. Here are a few lines that I treasure.
During these days after having a fresh understanding of the WORD come to life to me, I kept sharing this new awareness with family & friends, then I came across Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, Chapter 11. I had read this many times earlier, but this time it dawned upon me, this is so great, is it not like Chapter 13 of 1 Corinthians is to Love, how Hebrews 11 is to Faith. Here it is paraphrased (only few verses retained) from The Passion Translation. In case you want to read the original version, click this link here.
The Power of Bold Faith
Now faith brings our hopes into reality Hebrews 11:1. Faith becomes the basis of getting what we desire. It is the evidence of what is unseen. (As per another version – Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.) This testimony of faith is what previous generations were commended for. Faith empowers us to see that the universe was created and beautifully coordinated by the power of God’s words! He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.
4: Faith moved Abel to choose a more acceptable sacrifice to offer God than his brother Cain, and God declared him righteous because of his offering of faith. By his faith, Abel still speaks instruction to us today, even though he is long dead…
6: And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him.
7: Faith opened Noah’s heart to receive revelation and warnings from God about what was coming, even things that had never been seen. But he stepped out in reverent obedience to God and built an ark that would save him and his family. By his faith the world was condemned, but Noah received God’s gift of righteousness that comes by believing.
Faith of the Patriarchs
8: Faith motivated Abraham to obey God’s call and leave the familiar to discover the territory he was destined to inherit from God. So he left with only a promise and without even knowing ahead of time where he was going, Abraham stepped out in faith.
11: Sarah’s faith embraced God’s miracle power to conceive even though she was barren and was past the age of childbearing, for her faith rested in the One who made the promise, and she tapped into his faithfulness. (Here is how it goes in another version. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. Hebrews 11:11)..
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
17: Faith operated powerfully in Abraham for when he was put to the test he offered up Isaac. Even though he received God’s promises of descendants, he was willing to offer up his only son! 18: For God had promised, “Through your son Isaac your lineage will carry on your name.” As per another version we have this – 17: By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18: even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”[a] 19: Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. 19: Abraham’s faith made it logical to him that God could raise Isaac from the dead, and symbolically, that’s exactly what happened.
23: Faith prompted the parents of Moses at his birth to hide him for three months, because they realized their child was exceptional and they refused to be afraid of the king’s edict.
24: Faith enabled Moses to choose God’s will, for although he was raised as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, he refused to make that his identity, 25: choosing instead to suffer mistreatment with the people of God. Moses preferred faith’s certainty above the momentary enjoyment of sin’s pleasures. 26: He found his true wealth in suffering abuse for being anointed, more than in anything the world could offer him, for his eyes looked with wonder not on the immediate, but on the ultimate—faith’s great reward! 27: Holding faith’s promise Moses abandoned Egypt and had no fear of Pharaoh’s rage because he persisted in faith as if he had seen God who is unseen.
28: Faith stirred Moses to perform the rite of Passover and sprinkle lamb’s blood, to prevent the destroyer from harming their firstborn.
29: Faith opened the way for the Hebrews to cross the Red Sea as if on dry land, but when the Egyptians tried to cross they were swallowed up and drowned!
Jericho and Rahab
30: Faith pulled down Jericho’s walls after the people marched around them for seven days!
31: Faith provided a way of escape for Rahab the prostitute, avoiding the destruction of the unbelievers, because she received the Hebrew spies in peace.
More Faith Champions
32: And what more could I say to convince you? For there is not enough time to tell you of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33: Through faith’s power they conquered kingdoms and established true justice. Their faith fastened onto their promises and pulled them into reality! It was faith that shut the mouth of lions, 34: put out the power of raging fire, and caused many to escape certain death by the sword. Although weak, their faith imparted power to make them strong! Faith sparked courage within them and they became mighty warriors in battle, pulling armies from another realm into battle array. 35: Faith-filled women saw their dead children raised in resurrection power.
Yet it was faith that enabled others to endure great atrocities. They were stretched out on the wheel and tortured, and didn’t deny their faith in order to be freed, because they longed for a more honorable and glorious resurrection!
39: These were the true heroes, commended for their faith, yet they lived in hope without receiving the fullness of what was promised them. 40: But now God has invited us to live in something better than what they had—faith’s fullness! This is so that they could be brought to finished perfection alongside us.
Other verses on Faith includes
Here are a few more verses on faith. I am certain that your faith walk will never be the same again. For this strive continuously on the specific verses which touched you in a special way. I followed this exercise for a few weeks, then months. Remember when we start going to the Gym, we don’t expect change in a few days or weeks. We persevere for a few months, then see changes gathering momentum. Why do we occasionally become hesitant to persevere even in matters of faith?
Here are a few additional verses on faith, which would encourage you in your growth in faith.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
For we live by faith, not by sight.
2 Corinthians 5:7
Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
“Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
1 Corinthians 16:13
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
So grow and blossom in faith. Have a walk of the faithful one.