by Scarlett Stough
The greatest gifts God has to give us are love, faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). We are further told “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6a). Notice, we do not have to “work up” any of these gifts, because they are gifts produced in us by the Holy Spirit which ripen over time and experience (Galatians 5:22-26).
Some people have made statements which indicate they think if they believe strongly enough, what they want they will be given. That is not faith. Biblical faith is based in the faithfulness of God who is absolutely trustworthy (Hebrews 11:11). God isn't in the business of giving us everything we want. Too often what we want is something we have put in place of trust in God, an idol. Faith in God remains even when all else is lost (Hebrews 11:35-39).
Are you sick? Are you in trouble? Have you been praying for relief, but relief has not yet come? Faith is the absolute certainty that God is hearing and acting on our behalf even in our worst—no, especially in our worst situations. Look back into the accounts of the faith of Abraham, of Sarah, of Hannah (mother of Samuel), of Esther, of Job, of Daniel and his friends, and of David, and of Mary (the mother of Jesus); none of whom had easy lives. They worshiped God by trusting him enough to obey him through the tough times. Even when their faith faltered, God still remained faithful to them and his promises to them.
This faith is a living faith which strengthens us to obey God (James 2:17-26). Faith is strengthened by the troubles we endure (1 Peter 1:3-25).
We are exhorted by those God entrusted to write the Scriptures:
Remember: “…anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him“ (Hebrews 11:6b).