“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
When you read about the great men and women of faith who God raised and worked through, do you ever stop to wonder how God managed to sell His tremendous visions to them? How were those people able to trust God so steadfastly in seemingly hopeless circumstances?
Imagine that you are aged and childless Abraham, walking along the seashore one night and looking up at the sky. Then God tells you to picture the billions of stars as your descendants and count the grains of sand as your children. Would you believe God straightaway, or would you laugh it all off?
As flawed humans—limited in sight and thinking—our natural response to challenging situations is doubt and fear. However, the Bible lets us know that the Holy Spirit can anoint us with that ability to believe God’s word in the face of impossibility. Like the heroes of faith listed in the book of Hebrews, you also can look beyond the circumstances and have faith in God for the supernatural. You see, faith is a gift from God! (1 Corinthians 12:9)
This faith is not to be confused with faith for salvation, which is equally marvelous. This faith is the kind that accomplishes things that are thought impossible. It is the faith that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 17:20, saying, “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Our anchor text hints to us that with this gift of faith, you are meant to see with the eyes of the Spirit, and not with your natural ones. This means that even when the situation may not look like it, your confessions remain faith-engineered. Like Abraham, you believe God’s report that you will have descendants as many as the stars, even if you currently are well past your prime and don’t have any child at all! You receive the word, prayerfully key into it, and patiently await the manifestation.
The more you learn about God, the more you are able to have faith in Him. So, to remain grounded in this gift, you must immerse yourself in the Word. It is from there that you learn about the might and nature of God, enough to build your faith vocabulary.
As with all spiritual gifts, the purpose of the gift of faith is to build up the church and strengthen fellow believers, to the glory of God. Therefore, when someone around you is experiencing doubt, know that you can encourage them and strengthen their faith through prayer.
When a fellow believer is struggling to find faith, rather than rebuke them, see it as another opportunity to contribute something to the Body. The beautiful thing is that, as you exercise your gift in service to God’s people, you also grow in it.
Bible Reading Plan: Leviticus 21-23