The world misunderstands real faith in God. Many belittle our faith in Jesus as a “crutch” for the weak. The “enlightened” think us ignorant. But they are wrong about the nature of faith. Unfortunately, sometimes even Christians lack a solid, biblical understanding of true faith. Arming ourselves with the following truths can not only help us better articulate our faith, it can also strengthen our commitment to Christ.
7 Truths from Scripture about Real Faith
Faith does not abandon reason
True biblical faith is not illogical, blind acceptance, or a flimsy hope. Instead, our faith is an “assurance,” a firm, solid confidence in the object of our faith (Hebrews 11:1). God can stand up to any scrutiny and investigation. Scientific facts abound to undergird our faith in a Creator. An abundance of historical information exists to support the biblical narrative. God has also confirmed all of His Word by miraculously demonstrating that we can trust His promises. Living a life of faith does not mean we will never have questions about God and His ways. But when we do have questions, we know we can trust the One who has all the answers.
Faith fills in the gaps
While faith is reasonable and logical, believers still have questions. For instance, we don’t understand why God allows painful circumstances or we struggle to comprehend important truths about our incomprehensible God. Until we get to heaven – or until Jesus returns – we walk by faith in these areas. We trust God with both the understandable and the incomprehensible. Faith drives and guides our lives in every area. “… for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, ESV).
Faith is a gift from God
We cannot save ourselves. We cannot work hard enough or be good enough. Only God has both the power and authority to save us. From beginning to end, our salvation is solely His work. Yes, God saves us through our faith. We are “justified” by faith (Romans 5:1). But even our faith is given to us by God. We can’t take credit for it. We can’t manufacture it (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV). Note: If you’ve never entered into a saving relationship with Jesus, find out more here: “How to Know Jesus.” If your faith feels flat and lifeless, you might be encouraged by “Fed Up with Flat Faith.”
Faith will produce good works
Faith that saves is more than mere acknowledgement of the existence of God. Even the demons believe in God’s existence and tremble at the knowledge (James 2:19). But they disobediently oppose God. Their belief does not save. Faith is not simply belief in a set of facts. Real faith trusts so much in its object of faith that it is moved to action. True faith make itself known in our lives by obedience (Romans 1:5). The New Testament author James recognized and taught that living faith is active. Saving faith, given to us by God, will always result in good works. If we persist in disobedience or our lives are void of spiritual fruit, our faith may be dead (James 2:14-17).
Faith is strengthened by trials
God uses difficulties, trials, and persecution to test, strengthen, and grow our faith. Just as fire refines gold and silver by burning away the dross, the fires in the lives of believers burns away the impurities in our faith (1 Peter 1:6-7). Our faith can get lazy and flabby when times are easy. But, trials put are an opportunity for our faith to work – and get a workout. Just like lifting increased weight builds and strengthens our muscles, “lifting” our faith in hard times builds and strengthens our faith (James 1:2-4). So, let’s not waste these opportunities to grow our faith. When the difficulties come – and they will! – let us rely on our faith in God. (Also see, “7 Characteristics of a Mature Christian.”)
Faith trusts in a Person, not an outcome
We will have difficulties, disappointments, and derailments in this life. Sadly, some Christians become discouraged when life gets hard and their prayers aren’t answered in the way they’d hoped. Too often we mistakenly put our faith in a desired outcome rather than in the One who hears our prayers. When God tested Abraham’s faith and told him to sacrifice his only son, Abraham obeyed. He believed in the power and promises of God. Because Abraham trusted in God and not a specific outcome (Hebrews 11:17-19), God was glorified and Abraham’s faith was strengthened. Real faith is grounded in God – not an outcome – no matter how He chooses to work we will not be shaken. (For more info, see “10 Characteristics of Faith from the Hebrews Hall of Faith.”)
Faith protects us from the enemy’s arrows
Satan is our enemy. He works to foster guilt, shame, and doubt in our hearts and minds. He whispers in our ear that God doesn’t exist. Or that God doesn’t care. Satan reminds us of our failures and mistakes, drudging up sin that God forgave long ago. But true faith in God, His character, and His ways is our strong shield of defense that blocks the enemy’s pointed schemes against us. Faith in the Holy One extinguishes those fiery lies from hell (Ephesians 6:16) and negates the power of Satan. Hold your shield high and do not set it aside.
Which of these truths about faith do you need to embrace today?