Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
What does God really want from us? At the top of the list of things God desires from us, He wants our immediate, complete, and joyful obedience to His commands. But our lives will never be characterized by that obedience until we first learn to trust God.
The Bible uses trust as a synonym for faith. When we talk about trust, we’re really talking about faith. For example, Habakkuk 2:4 says, “The righteous will live by his faith.” In Matthew 17:20, Jesus said, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Now, if we’re going to have the kind of faith that God really wants from us, we have to know what faith is. And the best way to understand what faith is, is to understand what faith isn’t.
First, faith does not mean the ability to predict the future. Somebody may say, “I am trusting God that He will give me this job.” Or, “I am trusting God that He will heal me.” Unless God has given you a specific word that He is going to do those things, that is not faith; that is presumption. How do you know God is going to give you that job? How do you know God is going to heal that disease? That’s presumption. Isn’t it funny that we think if we just conjure up enough willpower, somehow our willpower can manipulate the will of God? That doesn’t happen. Faith is not the ability to predict the outcome of circumstances.
Second, faith is not the absence of doubt. Years ago I took a group to Turkey and Greece to retrace the missionary steps of the apostle Paul. However, my wife and kids were not able to go with me. So before I left, I called a friend and said, “In case something should happen, I want you to watch over my affairs and be sure Amy and the girls are taken care of.” I made a contingency plan. Now, I had enough faith to take the trip. I believed that the pilot would land the plane safely. But my belief to go on the trip was not enough to erase all doubts. I had just enough faith to take action, and that’s what God wants from us.
Some people mistakenly think that God is interested in how much faith we have. The quantity of your faith makes little difference. Remember, Jesus said a teeny-tiny amount of faith, as small as a mustard seed, is enough to move a mountain. It’s not the quantity of our faith; it’s the object of our faith.
Faith is believing that God is going to do what He promised to do and acting accordingly. It doesn’t mean we have zero doubt. It just means we have enough faith to do something. Think about Abraham. He had just enough faith in God’s promise that he was willing to pick up the tent stakes and move to a country he had not seen. I imagine he had a few doubts, but he had just enough faith to move his family. Or think about Noah. He had just enough faith that God was going to destroy the world by a flood in order to build that boat. I imagine he had some doubts, but he had just enough faith to do what God told him to do. And the same is true for us.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Developing a Trusting Heart” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.