Where Faith Grows
Faith is part and parcel of the Christian life. Without faith, there is no Christian life. “For without faith, it is impossible to please God.” You never outgrow the need for faith, because the Christian life is “By faith from first to last,” as Paul put it. The “righteousness from God,” that we so desperately need, “comes through faith.” We walk by faith, stand firm by faith, and are shielded by faith from the fiery darts of the enemy. Your success as a disciple of Jesus is dependent upon your faith. So how’s your faith?
We can learn from a man like Abraham. We learn, for one thing, that faith is not an independent quality we can switch on at need. A person can no more manufacture faith on the spot than he can manufacture the ability to play the violin on the spot. When you or I get into a tough place – the doctor’s office calls and says that the test for cancer was positive; or our children are in trouble; or our job is downsized – at the moment we most need faith, we will not be able to manufacture it. Faith, by its very nature, is not initiatory; it is a response to something else, to God’s character and his word. For faith to produce the fruit we need in times of trouble – peace when the doctor calls, patience when the children are in trouble, kindness and self-control – it must already have been growing in the atmosphere of God’s word.
Abraham’s faith was a response to God’s word (Genesis 15:1, which is, by the way, the first biblical use of the phrase, “The word of the Lord”). God’s word is the atmosphere in which faith lives, the soil from which it grows.
So if the doctor were to call today with bad news, would you have what it takes to trust God and continue doing the right thing with peace of mind? If you are interacting with God, responding to his word, and growing in faith – not by leaps and bounds but step by step – you would. And nothing glorifies God more than when his people trust him completely.
God’s word is the soil in which faith grows.