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What is Faith in Jesus?

"True faith always has a crisis of belief moment, where you choose to take action or not."

Hebrews 11:1 [NIV]
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Psalm 138:2 God has exalted His very word above His own name.

Understand Faith

It may help you first to know what faith is not. Faith does not have to do with your mind and thoughts. Faith has nothing to do with how you feel inside or out. Faith is not persuading God to do something He's already promised to do. And as I understand an unsaved person has no faith at all, because faith is a gift from God and not produced by wishful thinking.

Now let's look at what faith is. Faith has everything to do with the belief in your heart. Just as importantly, it has to do with the words you speak, because out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Faith is a gift from God given to you (Romans 12:3). Faith begins and ends with Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). The way you get faith is by hearing the words of God (Romans 10:17). In the simplest terms, faith is a constant awareness of God and your actions that follow up.

By seeing what faith is and is not, we can go a little deeper. Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8), and Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 11:2), and we receive faith by hearing Gods Word (Romans 10:17). It appears we have very little to do with it. But why does the Lord so many times say, "He who has an ear let him hear"? Because the Words of God are trying to be planted on good soil (Mark 4:8), or receiving ears, which will produce fruit. God does a lot of the work, so it's our responsibility to receive, and respond to Him!

How Important is Faith?

Faith is so important that the Bible even declares in Hebrews 11:6, "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." Don't miss the last part of that verse, he rewards those who earnestly seek him! Even in 1 John 5:4 it declares, "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith." Lastly, the people who are justified in Gods sight live by faith from Habbukuk 2:4, "Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."

Faith in Jesus Christ overcomes the world, that's a big thing. It can also do much more like move mountains. In Matthew 17:20 it says, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

Giving Up So Easily

God only listens to godly people who do his will (John 9:31). If you are a Christian and born-again, there are times we can push God away without being very sensitive to the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:20). So make sure if God's not answering you, give yourself some alone time to examine your heart and ask God to reveal any sin. If nothing seems to be there, then keep the faith and do not read into the silence of God.

If you read through the Gospels Jesus was always trying to get people to speak and believe by faith. Here is an extreme example of faith that is very encouraging in Matthew 15:22 - 28:

First, a woman traveled far to find Jesus and make her request known:
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."

Then, Jesus ignored her and the disciples wanted her to leave:
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."

Then, Jesus rejects her request:
He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

She still didn't give up, so she worshiped Him:
The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.

Jesus tells her she doesn't belong:
He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

She replies something radical:
"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.

Jesus Grants her request because of her faith:
Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God! Her faith pleased God and she got what she asked for. This woman traveled far, and she was ignored, told to leave, and insulted. I doubt this woman felt full of faith and good while she was told these things, yet she persisted because it has nothing to do with feelings. God promises to set the captives free and she did not give up despite what it looked like.

"Name it and Claim it"

There are sometimes churches that teach people to confess positive things and believe they will happen. And if they don't happen they had doubt. Positive thinking is good, but you have to have faith in what God promises you -- not what you think is best. Some of them have faith for a bunch of money to live large and spend on their pleasures, but God doesn't want people to lay around in luxury and forget about Him.

Context is important in the Bible, known as hermenuetics, big scary word! For example, a lot of people would read one verse such as John 3:16 and think God is going to save everyone because He loved the world. But Jesus is only going to save people who repent of their sins and put their faith in Him (Matthew 7:21). The justified people in Gods sight live by faith in Jesus Christ! So when the Bible says, "Ask and you will receive", He doesn't mean ask for earthly treasures so people envy you, He wants you to ask for an abundant, love filled life, healing, love for enemies, or anything else that has to do with His promises.

Know His Character

God has a will for your life and you can find out His Will in the Bible. For example, you can clearly see It's always been God's Will that you might love Him back and have fellowship with Him. That is what he's been trying to restore with people since the beginning.

Since the Lord knows we have troubles at times, He also gave us promises to help and heal us. We have to be convinced that God really wants to help and heal us. If someone thinks that God does not desire to fulfill, satisfy, fill with joy, fellowship with us, and heal us -- then they don't know God very much!