What Is Faith?
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Perhaps you don’t even realize you’ve given up.
Resignation has replaced the faith in God you once had that your prayers would be answered. Or maybe you have a request that seems so audacious you’ve yet to voice it. It hovers on the outskirts of your mind while you wonder, Is my God really that big?
For this week of Lent, we are going to focus on faith. The Bible tells us that if we have mustard seed faith, we can move mountains. I’d like to take God at his word by growing my faith in Him: trusting Him with my prayers, both big and small; leaning on Him in difficult times; praising Him when all is well — and when it isn’t.
What Is Faith?
One way to nurture faith is by simply spending time with Jesus. In the little book The Promise of Answered Prayer, Jim Cymbala says, “Faith is especially nurtured when we just wait in God’s presence, taking the time to love him and listen for his voice. Strength to keep believing often flows into us as we simply worship the Lord. The promise of scripture becomes wonderfully alive as the Spirit applies them to our hearts.”
This year I’ve focused on waiting quietly with God. Several times a week, I pick up my prayer journal, still my heart, and just sit with God, listening for His voice and journaling what I feel the Holy Spirit witnessing to me. It’s been hard to make myself stay still. A million tasks vie for my attention, but as I sit at Jesus’ feet, He brings scriptures to my mind to read, and people to my heart to pray for, and sin to be confessed. He gives me wisdom for situations I’m facing and peace for my soul and pictures to ponder.
These times of quiet add a richness and depth to my devotion time that was absent before.
Now I find that if I don’t have this one-on-one with Him that I miss it. I long for his presence and that still, small voice whispering to my heart, fanning the sparks of faith into flames. And I’ve learned that faith is not the absence of difficulties, but the presence of Jesus in the midst of difficulties.
This week, let’s remember that faith does not rest on our abilities, but on the ability of the One we believe in, as Psalm 130:5-6 reminds us:
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
What will you put your faith in God for this week?