Faith is a great force!  Even as forceful as love is, it cannot survive without faith.  If we lose confidence and trust, love begins to fade.


When we keep our faith in God healthy with a relationship based on His word, prayer and regular communication, our love for God motivates us in all we do, even how we think and interact with others.

In personal relationships, faith is necessary to keep them working.  If we lose faith in one another, we will be suspicious and love will suffer.


The Bible greatly stresses to have faith in God.  “But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

And we are to cultivate and grasp faith.  “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, (for he is faithful that promised)” (Hebrews 10:23). 

Hold fast, as in a death grip, not releasing our hold under any circumstances.  

 Faith is what motivates us to act in love and will produce “works.”

“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead, also” (James 2:26).

Faith will illuminate the path for our journey.  It will guard against stumbling in the darkness of doubt.  “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).


“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you” (Luke 17:6).

A “land” tree growing in the midst of the sea?  Preposterous and impossible!  After the lesson on faith and instructing His disciples in the importance of forgiveness (Luke 17:3-4), they requested that Jesus “increase our faith.”  If Jesus thought it was important to have unwavering faith, then it must be essential.  He continued to teach the disciples by telling them that by faith they could pluck up a tree by its roots and plant it in the sea!  Notice that He didn’t say, dump it in the sea, but “plant” it in the sea.  Now we know that it is unnatural for a mulberry tree (as some translations call it) to be growing in midst of the sea; its nature is to grow on land, its roots pulling nutrients and moisture from the soil.


Jesus said the tree would “obey” the command given by faith to change its natural environment from land to sea where it would be planted.  Its very nature would have to undergo a complete transformation to grow in the sea.  While I believe in the “literal” translation of the Bible, I think Jesus was teaching about how powerful our faith is.  If it would somehow magnify God to demand that a tree be plucked up by its roots and planted in the sea, then faith could perform it.  The important point is that faith in God, in His word, can change circumstances and environments in amazing and unbelievable ways.  It can transform us and change how we look at life and motivate us to produce phenomenal fruit.  Faith can change others with whom we interact in miraculous ways to allow God’s will to be accomplished.


 What is faith? What should we know about faith?

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Evidence will stand in court and clear or convict one accused of a crime.  Evidence will convince scientists that a medicine or medical procedure will work to bring a cure for disease.  Substance is “the real content, solid quality.”  It is not esoteric, but something we can grasp and understand.  So faith is the “real thing” that may not have happened yet, but based on evidence it is hope realized before it is visible and that gives it substance. 


In our everyday life, we have faith that we can accomplish something that we have begun even before the end result is in view.  If we didn’t, we would never begin in the first place.  While we may accomplish the goals we set for ourselves by sheer will power and diligence, the faith that the Bible talks about means “faith in God.”  We can’t save ourselves by our own ability; we can’t please God by just doing good deeds; we have to have that new nature of the new birth.  Faith in God will accomplish anything that He has chosen us to do for Him.


Faith as in daily living: My car will take me where I need to go; I can do what I am physically capable of doing and have “faith” that I can do the same thing tomorrow, etc.  It’s healthy to have confidence in ourselves so we can function each day in this world.  Confidence in myself will get me from here to there to reach my goals.  Remember the story of the "Little Engine" who puffed, "I think I can" until it did.

Faith in God is a whole ‘nother’ matter.  Our faith in God means that we believe Jesus came to earth as a baby; grew into manhood and ministered for about three years with His disciples; was arrested, tried and murdered on a cross; resurrected from the dead and is now alive forevermore.  All of this was for our benefit.  We accept the “evidence” as truth as the Bible records it, and that it was done to accomplish our salvation.  Faith in the basic tenets of salvation leads us to have faith that God is interested in our daily lives and will act in our behalf for our best interest.  Faith leads us to believe that “God so loved the world” (including us) and will hear and answer our prayers when we pray for His will to be done “on earth as it is on heaven.”


Back to the “tree in the sea.”  Some things we face in our lives appear to be as difficult as transplanting the tree in the sea; but our faith increases as we continue our faith journey so that no matter what life brings to us or where it takes us, we can unequivocally trust God to be involved and by faith we can “plant the tree” wherever it needs to be for our good and His glory. 

Jesus further emphasized what faith can do in another parable:

“And Jesus said unto them...If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).

We have become so self-sufficient that we have forgotten that we serve a powerful God who is touched by our needs and moved to action to help us.

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

Our Lord is serious about faith!  Without it, the heart can become evil and lead us astray, away from God.

"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:12, 13).

Faith in God is a guard against being deceived and having an "evil heart of unbelief."  Mutually encouraging our "brothers and sisters in Christ" will keep us loving one another and productive for the Kingdom of God. 


Do you have a tree that needs to be plucked up and planted in the sea?  A mountain that needs moving?  Put your faith to work and plant the tree and move the mountain.  You have God’s power, authority and backing to get it done!  That mustard-seed-size faith will flourish when planted in God’s garden!  And never forget that God is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities"!  Remembering that will feed your faith; and without faith, it is impossible to please Him.





@ There's Good News August 2012

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