The simplest answer according to Merriam-Webster is strong belief or trust. But let’s look deeper.
We have faith in many ordinary things. For instance, I have faith that my car will start. I have faith that a chair will support my body. I have faith that my friend will keep our conversations private. With multiple positive experiences, my confidence increases to the point that I’m willing to risk taking action. I depend on my car, sit in the chair and share with my friend.
The Apostle Paul describes faith in God as “being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see” (NET, Heb 11:1).
We can spend our entire lifetime growing from a simple belief that God exists to being sure and certain, but an important turning point occurs when our trust becomes strong enough to support action.
Paul also says “without faith it is impossible to please God” (NIV, Heb 11:6), then lists Biblical examples like Abraham and Moses who obeyed God without knowing His grand plan.
Abraham’s family must have thought he was crazy to relocate them from the cradle of civilization to an unknown destination. With hesitation, Moses left his safe, fugitive, shepherd life to return to the scene of his crime and challenge Pharaoh, the world’s most powerful man. We should be especially encouraged because both Abraham and Moses were ordinary, imperfect men who became great because they stepped out in faith.
Great faith involves trusting Him enough to follow Him into the unknown.
Why is it important to trust God? Isn’t it enough to believe in Jesus?
Yes… but following God leads to fulfillment beyond your imagination! Knowing the story of the cross is far different than allowing Jesus to change your life.
As a young mother, I learned how to see God’s hand in my everyday life. I’d review each day before bed to identify His activity. He nudged me to interrupt my busy schedule to call a friend and it turned out to be what both of us needed. When I heeded what seemed to be a fleeting thought, I saw God’s protection.
With this evidence, I followed the quiet voice in my soul more frequently. He led me to opportunities I would have missed on my own. I began to see that He loves me and knows what’s best (imagine that!). Over time I became confident that God is trustworthy. This prepared me to answer His call to scriptural blogging, even though it felt scary.
In hindsight, I see evidence of His guidance throughout my life. With continually growing faith, I rely on His promises and trust that He’s in control even when I face difficulties.
How is this kind of confident faith developed?
Faith is a personal journey. While there’s no formula, there are habits that will position you for growth:
- Ask for God’s help. In Mark 9, a father lacked faith and prayed for Jesus to “help me overcome my unbelief”.
- Get to know God’s character and promises by reading the Bible. We must know Him to trust Him!
- Seek God in constant conversation. Talk to Him throughout the day.
- Watch expectantly for His activity in the world and in your life.
- Identify with Biblical characters as ordinary, broken people that God used. Be reassured by God’s faithfulness throughout the ages. He can be trusted!
- Respond to God when you feel His calling. As you respond and see God’s trustworthiness, your faith will grow.
What one step will you take to grow stronger in faith?