“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. This is what the ancients were commended for.”
We always talk about people who have “strong faith”. The ones who were able to receive an impossible promise from God and believe him for it. The ones who trusted God in the midst of awful circumstances and were brought through to the other side. The ones who remained firm in their faith, even through torture or death.
I always thought that one day, I’d have strong faith. As I sit here, now fully accepting the truth of a promise from God that hasn’t even happened yet, I’ve realized something.
Right now, I still feel as fragile as ever. I feel prone to attack, prone to leaving my God at a moment’s notice, prone to giving in to the fear that is waiting to pounce. And yet, never have I felt more secure in the future God has promised me. This is not because I am strong. I would venture to say, it’s not even because I have strong faith.
Jesus once said that faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. This is because a small amount of faith can grow to a large amount. I have certainly seen my faith increase, but even as it grows, my weakness is ever present. No matter how big this new muscle of faith grows, I’ll always know this: my faith is only as strong as the thing I put my faith in.
I’m not tough because I can endure things for God. You see plenty of people endure trials without God every day. You see suicide bombers and people who are willing to give up their lives for false beliefs. If my strength were all about me, I’m no better than these people. In some ways, they’ve displayed more human strength than I’ll ever have. It takes a lot of faith to blow yourself up and believe that something good for you will come out of it. That’s probably more faith than I have right now.
What makes my faith different is not some internal power or strength – it comes from the object of my faith. My God is strong, my God is able to deliver. My God is able to prove my faith genuine and come through for me with his reward. No matter how many great feats of faith there are in my life, it will NEVER be about me, my amazing strength, or my ability to trust God. It will always be about the fact that my Father God loved me enough to come through for me.
It’s not that we shouldn’t ever express praise to people who have great faith. An entire chapter of the Bible is devoted to talking about people and their faith. But instead of focusing so much on PEOPLE, let’s instead start talking about the God who is worth putting our faith in. When we ask him for something and believe he will give it to us, he loves us enough to deliver. How amazing is that? How incredible that we have this Father who values us enough to give gifts? Who stands by us when we make outlandish declarations about what he is able to do for us? Who will not leave us hanging, but will deliver on the promises he has made?
We are not worthy of God because of our great faith. He is worthy of placing our faith in, and our faith is great because HE is able to deliver.