Jesus said “Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22 Faith is more than hope. Hope is wishing, but faith is knowing. The Bible is full of accounts of men and women who exhibited great, seemingly impossible faith in God. Faith compelled them to act. Because they chose to walk by faith and not by sight, we are still talking about them today.
- Noah heeded God’s warning that there would be a flood by building an ark to save his family from a flood, although there had never been a flood, and there was no evidence that there ever would be.
- David fought a giant that nobody else was willing to fight because he knew that God had rescued him before and that God would rescue him again.
- Abraham obeyed God and left his home to go to an unknown land because God said that He would give Abraham this land as an inheritance.
- Sarah, Abraham’s wife, believed God would keep His promise of a child, though she was too old to have a child and barren.
- Abraham obeyed God by offering this same promised child as a sacrifice, reasoning that God would bring him back to life again.
To those who do not know God, these stories of faith seem far-fetched and hard to understand. But the more you know God, the more you realize that these men and women were not acting in blind faith, but they were acting in biblical faith. They had a spiritual understanding and reassurance that God existed and that He would keep his promises. [pullquote]these men and women were not acting in blind faith, but they were acting in biblical faith.[/pullquote]
Faith compels you to act in ways that you never would have expected like building a boat to save yourself from a flood when it has never even rained, or fighting a giant that everyone is too scared to fight, or believing a promise that in the natural, just doesn’t make sense.
Faith without action is dead. It is not really faith. The stories of these heroes of faith are meant to encourage us to pursue a faith like theirs. When looking at these biblical acts of faith, it seems that God gave these people a lot more faith than the average human being. But this is simply not true.
God has given us all the same measure of faith (Romans 12:3), and we all have the ability to increase it. God does not give some Christians more faith than others; we all start out the same. God gives us tools to grow and strengthen our faith, but what we do with these tools is determined by us. We can choose to remain where we are, or we can choose to increase our faith.
My goal is to pursue faith every day just as the writer of Hebrews implores us to do:
“Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1
Ways to Increase Your Faith
One of the tools that God gives us to increase our faith is His Word – the Bible. Just as our bodies grow with physical nourishment, our faith grows through spiritual nourishment. Jesus, in Matthew 4:4 said, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
Feed your spirit by by reading and meditating on the Bible. Verse by verse, the Bible reveals who God is: His love, His faithfulness, His kindness, His glory. By seeking God through His Word, we grow in our knowledge of Him. The more we know and understand who He is, the more we can trust Him. Faith grows proportionally with trust and God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
Another way to increase our faith is to exercise it. We exercise our faith by obeying God and doing what His word says. Obedience requires trust and trust requires knowing the One you obey. Not everyone starts out with a faith like Abraham. But that is okay. Start where you are right now. Just as exercising your muscles requires some discomfort, so does stepping out in faith. I don’t know what this looks like for you. Maybe it is giving up something you enjoy in order to spend more time with God Radical Obedience – What Happens When You Say Yes to God or talking to someone at a gas station Woman Interrupted or maybe it is telling someone about Jesus. For each person, it is different.
Do not stand still in your faith. Take action. Maybe you are not ready to fight a giant or leave your home for the unknown, but you can do something. If you need encouragement, open your Bible to Hebrews 11 and read about the heroes of faith. Listen to others’ testimonies about how they stepped out in faith and God came through for them. If He did it in their life, He can do it in your life too. And finally, look back in your own life and remind yourself what God has done for you.
If you have a faith testimony, that you would like to share to encourage others, feel free to leave a comment below.