How do I know if I have faith? For many people faith is simply a belief they have. Something they can agree is true. It may not change anything, and for some it doesn’t guide or direct their lives at all. But is this really faith?
Faith is a pretty deep subject, and one that can create a lot of discussion, and at times arguments. If we don’t know what faith is it can leave us feeling lost in a storm of differing opinions and beliefs. Faith isn’t about everything turning out ok, and it isn’t about being blessed and prosperous. Just as Joseph, they young man with the coat of many colors, who was sold into slavery by his brothers, and imprisoned for something he didn’t do for 13 years because of what God spoke to him about. Faith isn’t about everything being ok, and it has nothing
at all to do with our feelings.
Faith isn’t a feeling. It is a choice to trust God even when the road ahead seems uncertain. As we learned in a earlier post Faith is “Believing that God is who He said He is, and that He will do what He said He will do.”
But is faith supposed to be more than just something I can agree is true? Something that I can mentally state with some emphasis, but that doesn’t guide my life? For many people faith is just that. That is why people can say they believe in God and yet live like He doesn’t exist. Because faith is something we agree is true, but doesn’t affect our lives.
Unfortunately this isn’t a biblical view of faith. When you read scripture you see that faith creates action in those who have it. In fact the bible is pretty clear, if there is no action, there is no faith. James 2:19-20 says “Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands?”
So if there is no action, there is no faith! You can have action without faith, but you cannot have faith without action. Faith isn’t something that we give mental assent to. It is something that drives us forward when everything around us says we should stop. Faith is what allowed Abraham to walk out into the desert not knowing where he was going. Because He believed that God was who He said He was and that He would do what He said He would do. And because Abraham had faith when God said go, he could go. Faith is what allowed Noah to build a great boat, when there had never been a boat before.
Faith is what allowed Joseph to endure everything that happened to him and not give up, although at times he probably thought of doing so. Faith creates action. The action it creates may be simply to hold our course and keep going. Or maybe it is praying for the sick people you meet, regardless of what does or doesn’t happen. Or simply sharing Jesus with people around you, even though it hasn’t gone well in the past.
Faith requires action, or there is no faith. It doesn’t require us to make anything happen, because then we are trusting in our ability. All of the hero’s of faith listed throughout scripture we simply people who believed God, and put one foot in front of the other doing what they knew to do, and what God had asked of them, simply because it was God who asked and they knew that God is trustworthy and faithful, and would always do what He said He would do.
Sometimes all God is waiting for from us is for us to simply take a leap and expect Him to catch us. Big leap or small it doesn’t matter as long as it is faith moving us into taking the leap.