Faith is both active and passive. In the Old Testament it confirmed a steadfast belief and trustworthiness in who God was and in His promises.
In Habakkuk 2:4 the prophet gave this Hebrew commandment to the children of Israel: v'tzaddik be'emunato yich'yeh.
The passage above declares, "But the just shall live by his faith." Literally it means, "the righteous, by his faithfulness - shall live."
In the New Testament faith embraces trust in the person of Jesus Christ, the truth of His teaching, and the redemptive work He accomplished on the cross.
The Apostle Paul taught us "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)
Hebrews 11:1 tells us, "Now faith is the substance (realization) of things hoped for, the evidence (confidence) of things not seen." Verse 3 declares, "By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible."
The world's definition of faith is more of a hope or belief that something exists. It is an intellectual ascent. Biblical faith rests in our belief in God's sovereignty and in His faithfulness (2 Timothy 2:13). We put our faith (trust) in Him as our Lord and Savior. We also display our faith in our obedience.
We find favor with God when we have faith in Him. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."
John J. Parsons explains the concept of faith and works in James 2:14-18 this way:
"Faith and works," then, might be seen as two sides of the same coin. Our behavior will reveal what we really believe; and what we really believe will become manifest in our behavior... If you struggle with sin in a certain area, then that becomes an invitation to examine yourself to see where your commitment really lies.
So how does faith impact us in our day to day walk with God? Why does doubt creep into our thinking? Where does this leave us while we wait on God's timing? What causes us to shy away from believing that what He promised will come to fruition? Here are four things to help bolster your faith:
1. Faith is inherently progressive. It evolves and matures during our spiritual walk. As we exercise our faith muscles -we strengthen our ability to trust in His faithfulness. Understanding this process helps us to develop perseverance. "The strengthening of faith comes through staying with it in the hour of trial." -Catherine Marshall
2. Faith is often tested. God's Word gives us the tools we need to resist the devil and his schemes. Doubt arises first in the mind and fleshes out in our actions. We must "bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..." (2 Corinthians 10:5) Jude warns us with regards to false teachers to "build yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 20). Paul admonishes us to be "rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith..." (Colossians 2:7).
3. Faith increases by way of remembrance. Using a journal helps you to recall instances of God's blessings and faithfulness. Recording what the Spirit reveals during prayer time preserves an important timeline in your spiritual growth. Put your feelings and thoughts into words. Jot down relevant scriptures that encourage you. Remember, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
4. Faith is boundless. Nothing can wrestle away our faith. It is not limited by time, age, wealth, health, or circumstance. Because nothing can separate us from God's love (Romans 8:38-39), faith cannot be denied. It is limitless. It is resolute. It is reliable. Faith is solely in Him... Amen.
The Apostle Peter tells us to be watchful and expect attacks from the devil (I Peter 5:8). To this end we must "resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world" (I Peter 5:9).
I must confess that I have dropped the ball here at times... Like Gideon, I wanted to throw out a fleece or two for confirmation and affirmation. I fail miserably in my faith walk on occasion. But this I know - I only need to have faith as a mustard seed for it to grow into something amazing. Lord, help me to have radical faith in your faithfulness!
Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.