“I’ll be there at 6:00.” They say to you. Depending on the person, you know whether to expect them fifteen minutes early, right on time, fifteen minutes late, or possibly not at all. Having faith in someone keeping a 6:00 dinner depends almost entirely on how reliable they have been in the past. This is the kind of faith that the world regularly speaks of. They view faith as a person’s own estimation of the faithfulness of a friend. They view faith as a decision a person makes based on the previous actions of the other person or outside influences on the situation. God given faith though is different.
God given faith does not depend on the faithfulness of God’s former actions. Make no mistake, God’s former actions and His actions in your lives today do nothing but reassure you of the faith you have in Him. He has never broken faith. However, when the Bible speaks of the gift of faith it does not mean that humans weigh the faithfulness of God in the same way that the faithfulness of family and friends is weighed. The writer to the Hebrews says in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” You and I are not given glimpses into heaven in order to see God fulfilling His promise of eternal life for His children. You and I are not given scientific (i.e. repeatable and measurable) proofs of God’s existence. Yet the gift of faith holds on to God as real and trustworthy. All the evidence in the world supports this view, yet it will not be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt for all the world until all bow before Him on judgment day.
Believers view faith as the God-given gift of having the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the truthfulness and certainty of His promises. This gift cannot be reasoned into another person. This gift cannot be forced upon another person. The gift has to be given by God Himself through the working of His powerful word. Faith is that nugget of truth in your heart that holds onto God despite all of the deceptions and lies that your enemies bring before you. Faith conquers your fears and gives you peace.
In Christ, Pastor Naumann