Both the Old Testament and the New are overflowing with forms of the word “faith”, like “trust, faithfulness, believe, and of course, faith.”
It is interesting how much Jesus pointed to “faith” as a key to miracles, and blessing…and to salvation of course. I notice in the Old Testament that those who are commended by God were those who were known as “faithful” as in, faith – full or, full of faith. I notice beginning from Noah and ending at Revelation that those who belonged to the LORD were the “faithful”. And I notice that when correctly understood, “to have faith in Jesus” it means to have “faithfulness to Jesus”. In other words, the New Testament word “faith” is used as the Old Testament word for “trust or faithfulness” So, to “trust” in Jesus for salvation is to have “faithfulness to Jesus for salvation” or to “believe, have faith” in Jesus.
Now, for the individual who is saying “WHAT” how can I be faithful! Thankfully, your part is simply to be willing. You are saved by the gift of grace and by your faith. You are not saved by “works of the law” but by continuing (which is the key word here) in your “faith, belief, trust, faithfulness” in Jesus saving work. God is willing and able to uphold you by HIS power, as long as you are simply willing. Many people equate willingness, or our “free will” to choose God or to not choose God as “works.” But this is not true. God never removes our free will.
Okay, now that I covered that. Let’s move forward. Here are just a few of the many verses regarding, what I like to call “our influence in heaven” or our partnership with God’s work, or us cooperating with what He already wills to do on earth, but we get a hand in, etc.
“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matt. 17:19-20).
“Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:22-24).
There are so many verses where Jesus working the supernatural is directly connected with one’s faith. So, faith is essential to seeing God “move”. I want to suggest something. I am absolutely convinced there is a epidemic of unbelief in our first world nation. Now, I am not talking about unbelievers, but Christians. Of course, not everyone! But in the institutions of faith. I heard a pastor the other day say, if God still did the “supernatural” or if we still had the gifts of the Spirit which are supernatural, then why do we have people sick in the hospitals, Covid cases, cancer, etc.? My answer… “unbelief”. Of course, this is not the case for everyone’s situation. For, many times, and even in the New Testament, sickness, or some malady, is allowed by God to create a greater work and for a greater unseen purpose. Plus, the natural course of sin is old age and death. Then you also have Satan working havoc and mankind’s sin working too. But what happens when the gospel goes to a third world country? Miracles and wonders accompany faith. Healings and tongues spring forth. Why? I am convinced, one: they are desperate for God. And two: their “faith muscle” is strong!
We reap the benefits of living in a first world country. For we are comfortable. However, we also reap the natural results of self-dependance, self-sufficiency, and self-preservation which all lead to lack of faith, or to unbelief.
Therefore, I am convinced that our Lord is creating a situation (and has been) where we will have to trust upon Him. He is urging His children to believe, to return to faith. To that kind of faith which the disciples had in the first century. And the interesting thing is if our lack of faith is due to self-sufficiency and self-preservation, then those things which we lean so heavily on will be challenged and we will be drawn to trust in the Lord and not our own power. When people are in crisis it automatically causes a response. The Christian will draw near to God, and the non-Christian will shake their fist at heaven. So, I believe a divide is coming. And the “believer” will grow in their “belief or faith” and the non-believer will harden their heart. Now, of course, those who are willing to be saved. Any who are brought to their knees, are welcome in the Ark. But the Lord is clearly calling for a re-awakening of our faith, for our faith muscle to be strengthened, which will only benefit our walk with God and our influence on the world, for time is short.