25 "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

Luke 8:25 (NIV)

Amazing. We serve a God to whom the wind and the water hearken with stealth, stillness and attention to obey the commands of the One who is in authority over them. Perhaps we should be taking a lesson from the winds and the waves! Faith – commanded by God, expected by God, given and strengthened by God and honored by God. Faith is what the ancients were chided for not possessing and commended for manifesting. What exactly is the definition of faith? It is a confident assurance. The Bible states: 1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Heb 11:1 (NIV)
We do not serve a God that expects His children to have “blind” faith in Him. Indeed, we can be sure of Who we hope in. He has given us the Scriptures for our encouragement, to help increase our endurance and to build our confident hope: 4 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NIV)
God grows our faith by giving us opportunities that try or test our faith. When we are faithful to trust Him, we will always find Him faithful too (He remains faithful even when we are unfaithful!). I love what He told Judah through the voice of Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles: 20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful." 2 Chron 20:20 (NIV)
Interestingly, “have faith” and “be upheld” in the above verse are translations of the exact same Hebrew word Aman meaning to believe, trust; to be reliable, faithful. In a transitive sense, to make firm, confirm; in an intransitive sense, to be firm, stand still; to be enduring; to trust, to believe. It is the word from which we get our word Amen for which we end our prayers giving credence to Whom we trust. Our faith lies not in ourselves but in the One who upholds us. We are told in Scripture that the “righteous will live by faith”: But the righteous will live by his faith -- Hab 2:4 (NIV) 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith." Romans 1:17 (NIV)
The Bible Knowledge Commentary expounds on this verse: “This as a righteousness that God provides for people on the basis of and in response to faith in the gospel. Such a righteousness is totally unachievable by human efforts. This righteousness is not God’s personal attribute; however, since it comes “from God,” it is consistent with His nature and standard. Robertson happily calls it “a God kind of righteousness” (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1943, 4:327). In response to faith this righteousness is imputed by God in justification and imparted progressively in regeneration and sanctification, culminating in glorification when standing and state become identical. As a result of faith in Christ, a person is declared “righteous” and is given eternal life. What a marvelous work of God!” We must also remember that without faith it is impossible to please God:6 And 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. Heb 11:5-6 (NIV)
We are also told by the writer of Hebrews: 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. Heb 10:35-36 (NIV)

What I Glean

  • My faith should be a “confident assurance” in Jesus the “author and perfecter of my faith”.
  • My faith grows through the “opportunities” that test and try me.
  • My faith honors God and God honors my faith.