Faith is about realizing what we lack (Isaiah 49:4) and relying on God instead of ourselves (Isaiah 26:3) as a child would (Matthew 7:8,11).
Realizing our Need
Faith is not trusting in our own power.
Faith can be difficult for those who like to overly control their environment. One of the best examples of “let go and let God” or “Jesus taking the wheel” is when the Israelites were afraid of the impending war with the powerful Egyptians (Exodus 14:10). Fear causes us to settle for less in this life, enslaving us to evil (Exodus 14:12). Many times, God actually wants us to do nothing (Exodus 14:14). If you stop trying to control everything, your eyes will be opened to the reality that God already has your situation under control (Isaiah 46:10; I Corinthians 15:27). Faith is about not relying on our own mind (Proverbs 3:5-6) or what we see (II Corinthians 5:7) but on God as our guide (Psalms 48:14).
Faith is realizing what we lack.
Most of us have struggles in life: finances (Luke 16:13), relationships (Colossians 3:19), self-esteem (Galatians 1:10), etc. Most of us also try to improve our lives using our own power (Isaiah 49:4): work harder, date more, and look better. This is actually one of the devil’s greatest lies that forces you to be his slave (Hebrews 2:14,15). Without God, do you have everything you want? If so you may think you don’t need God (Mark 10:25); but if you desire more, then realize Jesus wants to give you an abundant life (John 10:10).
Faith is desiring God’s resources.
God isn’t looking for people who think they have it all: He desires the sick (Mark 2:17). He desires to give “perfect peace” (Isaiah 26:3) and strength to those who trust in the Lord (Isaiah 40:29-30,31). You don’t need to be anxious anymore, because God cares about you (I Peter 5:7). He will make sure all of your needs are met (Philippians 4:19) if you seek Him (Matthew 6:25,33).
Faith is desiring God’s love.
The word “faith” might seem confusing or intimidating, but it’s just the trust a child has with his father (I John 3:1). A child doesn’t question if his father loves him and will give him nice things (Matthew 7:8,11). Instead of doubting, a child hopes (Hebrews 11:1). This is why we say He is “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9) because only full child-like faith is worthy (Luke 18:17). A child’s mind is usually fixated and assured of his parent’s love, a feeling of warmth and belonging. This same feeling of love is found by comprehending the mystery of faith (Ephesians 3:17-19).
Faith is desiring God’s guidance.
Oftentimes, we don’t know what we should do. We know God wants to plan our steps and what we should say (Proverbs 16:1,9), but we can’t hear anything. When you’re left with a confusing choice, and no amount of reason or human guidance helps, stop thinking about what you can understand (II Corinthians 5:7; Proverbs 3:5). Believe that God will give you the steps needed for your plan (Proverbs 16:9). Believe God will take 2 possible options and tell you which one is better (Proverbs 3:6; Psalms 32:8). God will never stop guiding you (Psalms 48:14).
Growth through Works
Faith grows over our lifetime.
The only way to take God’s resources and cherish His love is if we believe He exists (Hebrews 11:6). This can be hard when so many things cause us to suffer (Romans 8:22), but suffering is the only way we can prove that we really do hope in Him (Romans 8:24). “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,” an assurance that builds patience and character (Hebrews 11:1; Romans 8:25). Faith starts out little (Matthew 17:20) and grows through life’s trials that God orchestrates (Hebrews 11:8-9,17).
Faith is proven through works.
“Actions speak louder than words” applies to faith, too. Although salvation is based in grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), the purpose of faith is to work for God (Ephesians 2:10). Only “the doers of the law will be justified” (Romans 2:13) because how can a person say He has faith in the Almighty yet not even trust God enough to give to the poor (James 2:15-16)? The only way to be spiritually alive is to do good works (James 2:26).
Faith is loving God more than your purpose.
It’s easy for many to say they’re working for God but are just using God to have a fulfilling life, known as a works-based Gospel (Romans 4:4). The best example of this is shown through the prideful Pharisees, who subconsciously loved the world over God (Matthew 23:5-6). God’s plan is that many in faith won’t fully receive the promise they are hoping in (Hebrews 11:13). This is to make it clear that they want to be with God more (Hebrews 11:14,16).
Who is a great example of faith?
Abraham is sometimes known as the Father of Faith (Romans 4:12,16) because Paul often uses him as an example of how we are saved through faith (Romans 4; Galatians 3). Abram (his old name) trusted God to leave the comforts of his own town and family to an unknown place (Genesis 12:1; Hebrews 11:8-9). He had faith that he’d be the father of many nations, even though he and his wife were old (Romans 4:19). No circumstance made him waver in trusting in God with “full conviction” (Romans 4:20). As the ultimate example of faith to us (Romans 4:22-24), although Abraham deeply wanted a son to continue his legacy (Genesis 15:1-2), and he had to wait 25 years to get him (Genesis 12:4; Genesis 21:5), God required that he sacrifice him (Genesis 22:1-2) to test his loyalty. Abraham had the faith to kill his own son, believing God could resurrect him (Hebrews 11:17-19) and succeeded as the first believer (Genesis 22:10,12; Genesis 17:4-5).