“According to your faith be it unto you.”
According to the Bible, faith is a most precious commodity. It is “much more precious than of gold” (1 Peter 1:7); it is comparable to wisdom in its inestimable value (Job 28; Proverbs 8). It is little wonder then, that the world denigrates faith, characterizing it as that which stands against reason. We’ve all heard some version of that old canard, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The writer to the Hebrews tells us that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The term translated “substance” indicates real being, or the essence or nature of a thing. By extension, it refers to the steadfast confidence a person has when their belief assuredly corresponds to reality. Faith isn’t believing what we know isn’t so; it is believing in something we’ve become convinced of. Using the rest of the Bible as our guide, we could go a step further and understand faith as active trust in God. It is the exercise of this kind of faith that God has chosen to respond to. It is this kind of faith that leads to salvation (Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:5,8). Mere head knowledge of God’s word is insufficient (Hebrews 4:2; James 2). God requires that we live as people who have entrusted their very souls to His care. In order to reinforce and remind us of this essential teaching, the Bible contains numerous examples of God’s blessings following the exercise of genuine faith. Matthew tells us that on one occasion, two blind men begged Jesus to restore their sight. The Lord asked them, “Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord. Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened” (Matthew 9:28-30a). On this occasion, their simple and sincere verbal affirmation was sufficient. On other occasions, however, the Lord required that genuine faith come to different outward expressions. He commanded a thirsty army in the desert to dig ditches, surely the exact opposite of what these weary men wanted to do. Assured that God would fill the ditches with water, they set to their task and God miraculously provided for their need (2 Kings 3). On another occasion, God commanded a poor, indebted widow to borrow empty containers from her neighbors in which she was to pour out her paltry amount oil. In faith she did as she was instructed and God responded by increasing the oil so that every container was filled. With the sale of the oil she was able to pay her debts (2 Kings 4:1-7). In both examples, God’s provision was in exact proportion to the faith exhibited. May we express our faith in obedience also, knowing that God will surely supply all our need in return (Philippians 4:19).
God bless you,