It’s not your faith! And that is good news.  If it were, then you might have cause to worry.  For if faith were all up to you, it might not be enough for the job.  We live as though we are the ones who have to generate our faith.  We fret and deconstruct his words, when Jesus claims that all we need is a tiny bit of faith, no more than a miniscule mustard seed.

Here is why we don’t have to worry.  Who or what is the source of your faith?  Certainly not you.  You don’t have to muster up faith and hope that it is enough.  You didn’t have any to begin with.  If you or I have saving faith in any amount, it is because we have been given it.  Consider the following texts:

  • Ephesians 2: 8-9  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • Hebrews 12: 2 …let us “…fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith…”
  • And a long passage from 1 Peter 1:  …we are
    “protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last times. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while,  if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,  so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at )the revelation of Jesus Christ;”

I read this passage the other day and was astonished by what God revealed after a 2nd glance.  At first I panicked, “I don’t think I can be truly protected by God, because my faith is weak”.  But then the Holy Spirit reminded me that I am not the source or creator or originator of my faith.  If I have any faith in God it is because it has been given to me.  And God says that whatever size his gift of faith is, it is enough.  The trials Peter refers to are not to make me look bad, but to prove TO ME, that this blessing of faith is not only adequate and reliable but sufficient as well for whatever life throws at me.

Now when we go back and look at all the texts which talk about faith, we see it in a different light:  ‘the righteous shall live by faith”.  Who is that verse talking about?   It is those who have been awakened from the dead (i.e. born again), thanks to God. Once they have been enabled to see, they then realize, and with eyes wide open, the choices of life and death before them. They gratefully accept the gift of both a clean slate and imputed righteousness as well as a storehouse of faith.  They can NOW live by this faith that God has put into them.  So it is the born again (aka the ‘righteous’), who live by faith: faith in God’s character, in his past actions and in his future promises.  They don’t look to their abilities, gifting and experience.

Now we we can surrender the lament that sounds ‘oh, so modest’, but is truly a sign of pride and unbelief, “Woe is me, for my lack of faith!”  If you are a believer, you have been given sufficient faith.  Step out, rely on God.  You won’t fall – and if you do, his strong arms are there to catch you.  Promise!  (God’s word cannot lie).   Encourage yourself with the truth that this gift of faith will not leak out.  You might feel weak, but you just have to realign your thoughts with God’s word and trust this faith. If it is from God, it is adequate.  It’s like manna for the day. Remind yourself that as a new creation, you have new resources to go with your new nature.  The faith is now a fact, if you are believer.  And it can never leave you!

Now what was it that you are afraid to do?  What have you let yourself off the hook about?  Repent and ‘drive on all the way’, as my Infantry father used to say.  With God’s faith residing in you, it’s all good.