Have you ever heard someone say, “I just don’t have enough faith”, or “I can’t possibly have faith like that”?
What is faith?
Is it a desperate screwing up of your eyes and crossing of your fingers as you jump headlong across a pit of unknown length in the dark?
Maybe. There’s something to be said for “blind faith” or “taking a leap of faith”.
But I just read something in Acts that reminded me of another aspect of faith. Faith doesn’t come from within myself.
“By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast.”
There are many places in the Bible where someone is commended for their faith – from Abraham to the Gentile woman whose daughter Jesus healed. It’s easy to fall into the trap that makes us think “I must have enough faith that God will heal my family”, or “I must have faith like Abraham’s so that God will save me from my circumstances.”
It doesn’t work like that.
Just as healing, rescuing, protection, and cleansing are gifts from God,
so is the faith that allows us to accept those gifts.
Do you need faith today?
Perhaps your faith is flagging in the face of terminal illness. Perhaps it is dying a slow death because of the injustice you see in the world. Perhaps it is being worn down by the blandness of life.
Jesus himself taught us to ask for our daily bread, to ask repeatedly for what we need so desperately to survive. We are allowed to ask for gifts from our loving Father, and we must ask for faith.
Daily, hourly, every minute if need be.
Jesus, Lover of my soul, you have saved me by your grace.
You save me through faith, but my faith is weak.
Only you can take me from the miry clay of doubt and confusion;
Only you can set me on the rock of faith and hope.
I may feel like letting go, but I trust you to hold on tighter.
May your name and the faith that comes from you heal my soul.
And may those who see your steadying hand on my life be amazed,
and choose to depend on you for faith and healing as well.