What is your measure of faith?

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Faith does not come in leaps and bounds. It comes in drips and in measures, from little to great - the tinniest, for starters, being the mustard-seed faith. Every Christian needs an iota of faith to function in this world; the greater the faith the more visible the results. But how does one acquire faith? The Bible teaches that the source of faith is the Word of God. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17) The building blocks of faith are contained in the Word of God. Faith cannot be invented. It is sourced from and rooted in the Word of God as we read and study it. Stand on the Word, it is solid ground.

Great faith

The Bible is fraught with instances where God showcases those who have manifested great faith. These are supposed to serve as examples for us when we stand on His word. In fact, God starts off with Himself. He created the world through words of faith. “Let there be light and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3) “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the earth...” (Genesis 1:2) God did not like what He saw so He spoke to the situation for it to change. His Spirit moved and instant transformation took place. These accounts literally teach us how to exercise our faith and the necessary steps to take in that direction.

Hannah was barren and she prayed earnestly and persistently to God to cover her shame, particularly in the eyes of her mate, Peninnah. Year after year, Hannah - whilst in the process of building her faith -would go “to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty in Shiloh. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord. And she made a vow, saying, ‘O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:10-11) She became fruitful. God blessed her with a son and many other children.

David a youngster, took offence at the insults Goliath, a pagan warrior, threw at his God Jehovah. Without any experience or proven record except that he had killed a bear and a lion with his bare hands, David challenged Goliath to the face and God gave him victory. He told Goliath. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field of the earth, and the whole world would know that there is a God in Israel. All who gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:45-47) What gave David the courage to challenge a giant? His faith. For his boldness however, God gave him victory over Goliath whom he brought down with one slingshot. 

Little or no faith

Twelve of Jesus’ closest disciples who were around Him for much of the time did not display great faith. Once he rebuked them for not having faith. Little faith is the result of doubt. His disciples had been with Him all this time but had been blind to His power to change people’s circumstances. He has had cause on a number of occasions to rebuke them for having no faith or little faith.

Once, Peter and his colleagues were crossing the lake in a boat when a storm raged. Jesus was not with them but he suddenly appeared walking on water. When Peter realised it was Him, he asked whether he could join Him. The Lord invited him over. For a moment he too walked on water with his eyes fixed on Jesus. But then the storm arose and he took his eyes off Him paying more attention to his circumstances and he started sinking. “Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.’ You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt.’ (Matthew 16:8)

At another instance Jesus was in the boat sleeping when another storm raged. The disciples became helpless; their collective experiences as sailors had failed them. So they woke Him up saying ‘Master, don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38) He woke up, rebuked the wind and there was a complete calm. He then said to His disciples “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’ ”   (Mark 4:40)

‘Little faith’ or ‘no faith’ is far from what our Lord Jesus desires of us as believers. He requires mountain-moving faith. In the face of our problems, He is saying we should speak to them. All the things that look like mountains in our lives, He commands us to speak to them. “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’ ” (Matthew 17:20)

Indeed nothing is impossible for us to realise in this world if we put all our trust and confidence in our Lord Jesus who has given us that authority to resolve our problems. It does not matter what shape, size or form they come in, just speak to them. That power has been given to you and me; if only we would believe and demonstrate our faith.

Author: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye