“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7).
Faith in God is a positive power available to everyone. We as Christians should know and understand how to exercise our faith in God in our walk with Christ. However, we sometimes fail to understand faith in its entirety. The fact that we may struggle with understanding faith and what it can do for us should not come as a surprise. Satan hates faith because it was ordained by God for the Christian.
Jesus’s disciples struggled to grasp faith even while He was with them. “And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm” (Matt. 8:26). The disciples found themselves in a terrible storm and were afraid. It appears that when Jesus was awakened, He was as much or more concerned about the lack of faith in the disciples than He was about the storm. Likewise, when we find ourselves in a terrible spiritual storm or struggle today, Jesus does not criticize us or the predicament we got ourselves into. Rather, He is concerned about our faith and trust in Him through it all.
“When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8). Jesus is concerned as to whether there will be faith on earth when He returns. Faith will be under attack in the last days. Faith needs to be exercised in order to grow. With all the knowledge and technology in the world today, we try to reason our way through uncertainties instead of applying a simple faith in God. It takes humility to trust that God will take care of me and my family in our situation. When Jesus comes to earth, He will be looking for those who have their faith and trust in Him rather than in earthly things. Having faith in Jesus when He comes to take us home will be far better than any amount of earthly riches or popularity.
True faith is contrary to the human way of reasoning. It takes humility and a complete giving up of ourselves and our ideas to overcome fear and anxiety with faith. We will likely never totally understand faith, but we can learn how to apply it to our everyday life. Faith is not a power that removes us from all trouble here on earth, but it is a power to help us through our troubles. What could be more positive than a living power from heaven in the midst of negative life experiences? Some may feel they are being realistic when they have a negative attitude. Faith can never be negative. A negative person is expressing a lack of faith.
Jesus cares and understands the problems we face today and knows our heart. He knows our physical limitations. We are not all born into equal circumstances and do not have the same strengths and weaknesses. We each have our own level of understanding and comprehension. “I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Rom. 12:3). It seems this verse suggests that if I am strong in faith, I should not look down on someone who has little faith or who struggles with doubts. Also, I should not expect everyone to have the capability to exercise faith as I do.
Some may have chronic depression or obsessive fears and worries. Those who never have these kinds of issues generally do not understand the intensity of mental anguish a sufferer can experience and have a difficult time being compassionate to the individual. It is too easy to advise them that if they would just have faith, their mind could be free. Such comments may add to the emotional anguish. We should be supportive and listen and patiently try to help the individual through their crisis.
We must be willing to seek out the assistance we need. The assistance needed for our unique struggle may not be desirable to our flesh or our human way of reasoning. We may need step-by-step help to learn to have faith in our lives, and we may need medication to help us out of severe depression or obsessive fears. Through it all, if in humility we desire in our heart to have faith, God will help us to accept the struggles we face, to be positive when everything feels negative, and to be open to advice and help that seems contrary to our own earthly reasoning. May we all learn to live by faith.
Messenger of Truth, 2019, No. 16