“Have a little faith,” people will say, but what does it mean?
If we look at the world, it tells us to believe WE can do it—to have faith in ourselves. This is contrary to what the Bible teaches, and the Bible is the source of our faith. Read Romans 10:17–faith comes by hearing, hearing the word.
Father, I pray that the words you have given me are clear to the readers. I pray that anyone who wants to put their faith in you would understand the way to do that is to trust that your Word is true. I pray you would work in hearts that want to know you and that you would draw others to yourself. Help us know how to trust you. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray, Amen.
Sinners are redeemed.
The Bible teaches that God is the creator. He made everything, including us. Read Psalms 139:13-16:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
God made us in secret. He knows everything about us, just like he knew everything about Adam and Eve. They were the first man and woman God created. Adam was made from the dust of the earth and Eve was made from Adam’s rib. (Genesis 2:7-23)
Even though God created man with no sin, man had a free will and he chose to sin. Then, God redeemed him. (Romans 5:18-19) Through Adam, all men were sinners, but through Jesus Christ, we can become righteous. We just have to believe that Jesus is our sacrifice, shedding his blood on the cross for our sins.
First, we need to believe the Bible is true. Then, we need to trust in what it says. We put our faith in God by believing what God tells us in his Word.
God’s ways are perfect.
When something happens in our lives that we don’t understand, we need to remember God’s ways are perfect.
“As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.” (2 Samuel 22:31)
He doesn’t think like we think. In fact, he tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that his ways and even his thoughts are much higher than ours. Having faith in God would mean we believe that even though things look tangled up, God is able to untangle them.
When tragic things happen, putting faith in God means we believe, no matter how bad things look, that God will work them together for good. (Romans 8:28) When God says he will work all things for good, there is no exception. Too often, we look at what we are experiencing and cannot fathom how it will work out, but that’s exactly when we need to place that situation into our Father’s capable hands. They are the very hands that created the world and we can rest, knowing that he has things under control.
God is ever present.
There are times we will be tempted to feel alone. Maybe our loved one has died, and we don’t know how we will live without them, but God has promised he will never leave us.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Will we ever feel alone? Yes, there will be times we’ll feel as if we’re the only person in the world. That’s when we need to hold onto what is true, no matter how we feel. Our feelings are fickle. We can feel up one moment and down the next. We need to believe what God says, and he said he would never leave us.
When we find ourselves in trouble of any kind, we can take a deep breath and thank God that he is right there with us. (Psalm 46:1) In this world full of technology, it’s wonderful to know we don’t have to text God and find out he’s not available or call him on the phone to find he’s stepped out. God is there 24/7 and he encourages us to call on him whenever we need him. Putting our faith in God is going to him with whatever is on our minds. When my grandson, Charlie, was little and he lost his McQueen car, we prayed about it. Why? Because it was important to him, it was important to me. If we feel this way about our children/grandchildren, how much more does God care about us?
God is all-knowing.
God is not stunned by our struggles or trials. We get a call from the doctor with results from a test and we begin to panic, and we’re caught off-guard. We start to worry about what the doctor said, wondering how we’ll manage with this illness. God is not surprised by any of it. He knows everything.
In the book of Job, God questioned Job because he acted as if he was equal to God:
Of course, the answers to all God’s questions to Job were the same: “No.” Job was not there when God laid the foundations of the world, nor was he there to help God. God didn’t need anyone’s help. Not only is he all-knowing, he is all-sufficient.
God will provide.
I love it when God talks about the birds in the air in Luke 12:7:
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
God also mentions our very hairs are numbered–but he doesn’t stop there. He also talks about the flowers in the field. Read Luke 12:27-28:
Have you seen some of the beautiful flowers God has made? It’s all God’s doing.
One of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh, which means the Lord will provide–not the Lord might provide, or the Lord could provide. Putting faith in God might look like you obeying what God asks you to do and even when it feels like you won’t have enough money, trusting that God will provide for your needs.
We needed new windows, but we did not have the money. God let us find out about an organization who helps veterans. This organization provided a new garage roof for us. Then, a couple of weeks later, they contacted us and told us they were coming over. When they got here, they had a company with them which provided new windows. God knew what we needed, just like the loving Father he is. Have faith in knowing God will provide for your needs.
God doesn’t waste anything.
When I taught Sunday School to Kindergarteners, I shared the story of Jesus feeding the 5000. He took the lunch of one little boy, five loaves and two fishes, and fed 5000 men, women, and children. When they were done eating, Jesus instructed his disciples to gather up the remains which filled 12 baskets!
“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” (John 6:12)
God whispered to me, “See, I don’t waste anything.”
Are you going through a difficult time right now? Have you experienced things you don’t understand? Let me just tell you, God doesn’t waste anything. He has a purpose in the things he allows. While it may not make much sense to you right now, one day it will.
No good thing will he withhold.
Maybe you’re continually praying but getting no answers. Perhaps the thing you’re asking for is a good thing, something that would benefit you and your family. Still, the answer is not forthcoming. What does it look like to have faith in this situation? Read Psalm 84:11:
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
As you keep reading God’s Word, your faith will grow and when things in your life happen and you don’t understand, you’ll still put your faith in God. When God doesn’t answer your prayers, instead of being upset, you will come to realize what you prayed for must not have been good for you. If it were, God would not withhold it.
For years, we did not know what happened to my sister. Her husband told us she walked out, but we never believed it. She loved her three little boys; she never would have left them. We prayed and prayed but didn’t receive the answer to our many questions. Then, through a series of events, God let us know that Peggy was the victim of domestic violence. Why didn’t we know that for years? It was not the right time. After you walk with God and learn his character, you will come to an understanding that God is always looking out for our best interests.
God forgives AND forgets.
Maybe it’s easier for you to believe God for other people, but you struggle when it comes to you. You know that Jesus died for your sins and you’ve trusted in his sacrifice. Although you’ve tried, you just cannot forgive yourself. Instead of freedom, you carry a heavy load of guilt. What would it look like to have faith in God about this?
In Romans 8:1, God explains there is no condemnation to those who have trusted Christ. God is not holding you accountable for the sin you are holding onto. In fact, the Bible says that Jesus is our intercessor. When the accuser, Satan, tries making us feel guilty, Jesus tells God, “Father, he/she believes in me.”
The promise God gives us is Hebrews 8:12. God says he will remember our sins no more.
It’s not how much faith we have.
Have you seen people who seem to have so much faith? They pray about things and soon, they see answers to their prayers. Then, there are others who pray and pray for months, maybe years, without receiving answers. What makes them keep trusting? Why doesn’t their faith wither? It’s because they have taken their faith, no matter how small it was, and placed it in the right source.
Having faith in God is believing that God will accomplish what he says he will.
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19)
Having faith is believing God doesn’t lie. Have you ever seen the faith of a child? That’s the kind of faith God honors—a faith that believes God can do anything. How do we acquire that faith? We acquire it by deciding to trust God—one decision at a time. Each time I make that decision, God gives me rest, just like this song, Rest in You by Nathan Peterson.
Anne Peterson is a speaker, poet, and published author who is a regular contributor to Crosswalk. Anne has published 14 books including her memoir, Broken: A story of abuse, survival and hope. Anne believes life is hard, so she writes words to make it softer. Connect with Anne on her Website, Facebook or see her articles on Medium. Sign up for her newsletter and receive her free Ebook: Helping Someone in Grief: 17 Things You Need to Know.