God has given every believer a measure of faith that will prove to be more than enough.
After twenty years of preaching faith, a painful reality settled in―I had a lot of academic faith but precious little practical faith. I decided one of two things was true: either God was making a fool of me, or there were some simple things about faith I had overlooked.
A burning desire to “re-learn” faith resulted in this book. I took a new approach to Scripture study. Instead of customarily reading the Bible to confirm what I already believed, I began to read the Bible just to see what it said. As I re-read the Bible “for the first time,” the simplicity of the message overwhelmed me.
When we focus on Christ, faith flourishes like flowers after a spring rain. When we focus on ourselves, trusting God becomes an unnecessary struggle. The “What about me?” culture we live in makes me the center of the universe. Man-centered thinking and the cross of Christ are at eternal odds with each other. Self doesn’t need improvement—it needs the cross.
We don’t need more faith—we need a new focal point. When we make Christ the beginning, the center and the end of everything in our lives, self will take its rightful place on the cross and faith will become instinctive.
FAITH CAN BE A CONFUSING SUBJECT
I have struggled with faith since accepting Christ as a seventeen-year-old. I remember a young Christian friend saying, “Faith means, you just pretend it’s going to happen and it happens.” Hard as I tried, that never seemed to work for me. At the same time, that pretend exercise seems to emphasize simple expectation. After all “Faith is the substance [reality] of things hoped for, the evidence [proof] of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1). The words reality and proof are the suggested literal translations of the words substance and evidence, according to Alfred Marshall’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament. Simply put, faith is expecting what you hope for.
Hebrews 11:1 is the Christian’s favored response to the question, “What is faith?” Ask ten believers to explain what Hebrews 11:1 means, however, and you may hear ten different answers. Believers in other countries, especially in poorer areas of the world, seem to have more faith than we do in America. Extraordinary miracles occur on a regular basis. A friend recently suggested something that got my attention. He said, “Christians in other countries don’t have any more faith than we do. It could be, they just don’t have any doubt.” Evidently, when it comes to faith, they just expect things to happen and they happen.