And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who
comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who
earnestly seek him. - Hebrews 11:6 NIV
The above verse reveals how our faith pleases God and moves Him to
respond to us. Read through the Gospels and you'll see that almost every
time Jesus healed or rescued someone, He told them, "Your faith has healed
you." Or "Your faith has saved you." He pointed to their faith so that
they would know that it was their belief in God that played a part in
receiving their miracle. There are only two places in the Bible where we're
told that Jesus was "amazed." One is in Luke 7:9, where Jesus heals a
centurion's ailing servant. The Roman believed that the Master didn't even
need to be present to heal the boy, and this so "amazed" Jesus that He said,
"I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." And in Mark
6:5-6, where the Savior is rejected by the people in His hometown, the
Scripture says, "He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on
a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith."
It's not that the Son of God was unable to perform miracles in Nazareth, but
that He chose not to because of the people's unbelief. There's an important
message here for all of us.
The Bible has a lot to say about faith. Ephesians 2:8 says that we are
"saved by grace through faith." So we know that our very salvation depends
on faith. Scripture also tells us, "We live by faith, not by sight." (2
Corinthians 5:7) And "The righteous will live by faith." (Romans 1:17) So
we know that we are to live our daily lives by faith in God. And though
we're told in Ephesians 2:9 that our faith is a gift from God, the Bible
also says that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
(Romans 10:17) Therefore, our faith can be increased each time we study the
Scriptures, listen to good preaching and teaching, or memorize a new verse.
The more time we spend in God's Word, and the more we get to know Him
personally, the more our faith will abound. But just hearing the Word isn't
enough. Hebrews 4:2 warns us that God's Word will have "no value" to us if
we don't "combine it with faith." And if our faith is genuine, it will
produce righteous deeds. James states that "faith by itself, if it is not
accompanied by action, is dead." (James 2:17) Paul says it this way: "The
only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." (Galatians
5:6) And how does the Bible define faith? It says that "[Faith] is the
confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the
certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see
it up ahead." (Hebrews 11:1 TLB) My prayer for you today is that you may
always have this kind of faith, and that you may receive all that God has in
store for you!
Prayer: Lord, grant me the kind of great faith that pleases and "amazes" You.
Give me a growing passion for Your Word and Your presence. Cause my faith
to be genuine so that it may be expressed through love and produce good
deeds. Thank You for helping me to receive all that You have for me!
- J. M. Farro