Friday, February 8, 2013

What Good is Faith?

What good is faith?

What good is your faith?

When I hear, "I have faith," and the object of the faith is left unsaid, I'm left to my own assumptions of what the person may mean by "I have faith."  If I know they are a Believer I assume that their statement could be finished like this perhaps, "I have faith in God to_____________,"  whatever context that statement was made.

What good is your faith?

I get in my car, turn on the key and have faith that my car will start.  I have faith that the ones who built my car and who maintain it's oil and other levels have done what they can to see that my car is faithful to get me to where I'm going everyday.  Does it take faith in my car to believe my car will run?  What if I don't have faith in my car's ability, because I'm a worry wart and have unsubstantiated fears about cars and the auto industry and its workers and so much else,unwarranted UN-faith; is my car UNable to run because I don't have faith in it?

What good is faith?

If I don't have faith in Someone, does that mean that Someone doesn't exist simply because I don't have faith Someone does exist?

I ask this question not to stir up doctrinal questions and cause division or to give you a guilt trip, but to seriously ask myself and anyone who has read this far, what good is faith?  What is it for?  What if you have faith and don't use it except waiting for the eternal heavenly reward of faith?  Is that all God gave us faith for?

There are a few basic starting points, I think, before one can fully dive into the question at the start of this post.

What does faith mean to you?

Can you lose faith?  Does faith gain or lose it's ability, "she has weak faith, he has strong faith?"

What or whom is the object of your faith?  God?  Yourself?  Your trained abilities?  Or a combination of all three?

If you have faith, are you trusting in it for the sole purpose you may believe it brings - eternal salvation?  Or do you believe there is more to faith than just saving it for when you are called home to heaven?

I looked up the word faith in my Strong's Exhaustive and found  interesting and unexpected facts.

1. In the Old Testament, the word faith was used in only eleven passages and in those there were seven separate Hebrew words, and of those, only three were used in the sense of faith in God.  The others were almost, understood by myself, to be the opposite of faith, Unfaith, if you will and the verses spoke of breaking faith with God or a fellow human.

2.  In the New Testament the word Faith is used  ninety-seven times to translate the Greek word, Pistis, which means "faith, trust, believe."  That's the simplest definition.  And with that one word, ninety-seven passages in the New Testament use that word in various ways.  Out of the ninety-seven verses only thirteen were NOT Pistis or Pisteuo, another word that means "to believe in, have faith in, trust" (used nine times).  The words were used to describe small faith, weak faith, no faith, mustard seed sized faith, a shield of faith, healing faith, confessing faith, purifying faith, righteous faith, rich in faith, resting faith, true faith, faith without deeds, and faith that believes without seeing.

Isn't that what faith really is?

Believing in Someone without seeing proof Someone exists?

Believing that, even though I don't understand HOW my car will run when I turn on the key and put it into gear, or am able to see the engine as its working, I have faith that it will get me from point A to point B.

So I ask the question again, what good is our faith?  If the object of my faith is Jesus Christ, and I "believe, trust" in Him, His power, His works, His abilities, then  do I live like belief and faith in Him would compel me to live?

Do I say with my lips, "I have faith," but my heart and my actions display just the opposite?

Faith is a gift. It's nothing we can conjure up inside ourselves.  It's a gift, given by God.

Some gifts are treasured and used over and over, and some gifts are put on a shelf never to be taken out  and used for the purpose it was given by the giver.

What good is faith now if it's only for something later?

I believe Freedom comes with faith.  When God gives faith, he gives freedom.  Freedom to use the faith He's given to live the life He's planned for us.

He gives us the Faith to have faith in Him when times are challenging, when we struggle in relationships, when we don't know what tomorrow will bring.  When you think you have weak faith, it's still  faith that exists.  Faith from God.  Beg for more faith!  Don't have faith in faith though, have faith in the Giver of your precious Faith!  He is the object of our faith.

He gives us the faith to lay aside the old ways and old objects of faith.  He frees us with faith. Faith is the key to Freedom.

I challenge you to pick up your Bible and skim through the New Testament.  Nearly every chapter of every book has the word faith on its page.

Don't be discouraged by your lack of faith or your misuse or UN-use of faith, be encouraged that you have Faith - a faith that gives freedom to walk in new ways because the One walking with you is the One who gave you the gift in the first place.


Exodus 21:8; Deuteronomy 32:51; Joshua 22:16; Judges 9:16,19; 1 Samuel 14:33; 2 Chronicles 20:20; Isaiah 7:9; 26:2; Habakkuk 2:4; Malachi 2:10, 11, 14, 15, 16; Matthew 6:30; 8:10, 26; 9:2, 22, 29; 13:58; 14:31; 15:28; 16:8; 17:20; 21:21; 24:10; Mark 2:5; 4:40; 5:34; 6:6; 10:52; 11:22; 16:14; Luke 5:20; 7:9, 50; 8:25; 8:48; 12:28; 17:5, 6, 19; 18:8, 42; 22:32; John 2:11; 7:31; 8:30; 11:45; 12:11, 42, 14:12; Acts 3:16; 6:5, 7; 11:24; 13:8 14:9, 22, 27; 15:9; 16:5; 20:21; 24:24; 26:18; 27:25; Romans 1:5,8,12, 17; 3:3, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31; 4:5, 9,11,12,13,14,16, 19, 20; 5:1, 2; 9:30, 32; 10:6, 8, 17; 11:20; 12:3, 6; 14:1, 2, 23; 1 Corinthians 2:5; 12:9; 13:2, 13; 15:14, 17; 16:13; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 4:13; 5:7; 8:7; 10:15; 13:5; Galatians 1:23; 2:16, 20; 3:8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26; 5:5, 6; Ephesians 1:15; 2:8; 3:12,17; 4:5, 13; 6:16; 23; Philippians 1:25, 27; 2:17; 3:9; Colossians 1:4,5,23; 2:5, 7, 12; 1 Thessalonians 1:3,8; 3:2, 5, 6, 7, 10; 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 4, 11; 3:2; 1 Timothy 1:2, 4, 5, 14,19,; 2:7, 15; 3:9,13; 4:1, 6, 12, 5:8; 6:10, 11,12, 21; 2Timothy 1:5,13; 2:18,22,3:8, 10, 15; 4:7; Titus 1:1, 2, 4, 13; 2:2; 3:15 Philemon 1:5, 6; Hebrews 4:2,14; 6:1,12; 10:22, 38; 11:1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23,  24, 27, 28, 29, 30,31, 33, 39; 12:2; 13:7 James 1:3; 2:5, 14,17, 18, 20, 22,24,26; 5:15; 1 Peter 1:5, 7, 9, 21; 5:9; 2 Peter 1:1, 5; 1 John 5:4; Jude 1:3, 20; Revelation 2:13, 19

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