Mathew 17:14-17:20. In the scripture read, the disciples were perplexed as to why they could not rebuke the devil and thus heal and restore the boy. Jesus answer was simple—they had a lack of faith.
Webster defines faith as “unquestioning belief, complete trust or confidence, loyalty.” Hebrews 11:1 defines faith “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” It is what makes the abstract become the physically tangible. Faith is what, in a court of law will prove the case, since it is the evidence demanded for a verdict of things that we cannot see.
There are many things that faith will accomplish in our lives, if we are willing to allow it to happen. This morning, I feel that God has led me to focus on seven things that faith can do.
YOUR FAITH CAN HELP SAVE YOU
“FOR BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH…”EPHESIANS 2:8
We are not saved by faith. We are saved by GRACE (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense). But faith is the funnel through which the grace reaches us.
Luke gives an account of a time when Jesus was eating supper at a Pharisee’s house. During the course of the meal, a known sinner woman came in and began weeping on Jesus feet, anointing his feet with oil, and drying His feet with her hair. She was so broken that she could not stop weeping, she knew that her condition was so hopeless outside of Jesus. The Pharisee began doubting Jesus, but Jesus responded to the woman saying, “Thy sins are forgiven. Thy faith has saved thee. Go in peace.”
FAITH WILL DEFEND YOU
TAKING UP THE SHIELD OF FAITH, WHEREWITH YE SHALL BE ABLE TO QUENCH ALL THE FIERY DARTS OF THE WICKED ONE.”EPHESIANS 6:16
The Roman armor included defensive pieces such as a helmet and a breastplate, but the first defensive equipment that a Roman soldier had was his trusty shield. Many a mace, club, arrow or sword were deflected by the shield. The shield didn’t do the soldier any good if he did not pick it up, though. If not for the shield, the survival of the soldier would have been much more difficult.
Christians are constantly under attack. The devil walks about seek whom he may devour – and that includes you and me! Sometimes an attack will come from the most unexpected places. But we can rely on this faith to be our constant defender. But if we don’t use it, it will do us no good whatsoever. So don’t leave home without it.
FAITH WILL HELP PROVIDING FOR YOU
“AND THEY THAT KNOW THY NAME WILL PUT THEIR TRUST IN THEE; FOR THOU, LORD HAST NOT FORSAKEN THEM THAT SEEK THEE.” PSALMS 9:10
This verse presents to us an if-then proposition, and example of cause and effect. It is sort of like the children’s book says, “If you give a mouse a cookie, then he will want a glass of milk” and so on. If we grow close to God and put our trust and faith in him, then He will not forsake us.
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you…” Matthew 6:28-30
FAITH WILL CEMENT YOU
“BELIEVE IN THE LORD YOUR GOD, SO SHALL YE BE ESTABLISHED…” 2 CHRONICLES 20:20
It is only by faith in God that we can obtain a firm foundation. Any other source is on shaky ground and is not reliable. Just like the hymn that we sing: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.”
What better object for our faith, trust, belief and reliance than the One who is our creator and sustainer?
FAITH WILL ADD PUNCH TO YOUR PRAYER
“THIS IS THE CONFIDENCE THAT WE HAVE IN HIM, THAT , IF WE ASK ANYTHING ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, HE HEARETH US.” 1 JOHN 5:14
Possibly the greatest failure that exists within the church today is our lack of faith in our prayer life. Time and time again God continues to prove His ability to provide and answer our prayers, when we ask according to His will. Yet we, like the Israelite children, continue on in our ignorant ways, running around in circles.
Moses prayed and parted the sea, and God heard; Joshua prayed for the sun to stand still, and God answered; David prayed and dropped a 9 foot 9 inch giant to his knees, empowered by a stronger hand.
“Faith lives in folded hands, mountains move when you take a stand, It’s never been a case of sleight of hand, it the power of a praying man!”
FAITH WILL HEAL YOUR FAMILY
“THE HOUSE OF THE WICKED SHALL BE OVERTHROWN: BUT THE TABERNACLE OF THE UPRIGHT SHALL FLOURISH.” PROVERBS 14:11
No other physical institution is as important to the church today is the institution of the home. We as Christians should have the pinnacle example for those in the world to follow, but it is not so.
When the family fails, it is not God’s fault. All our problems begin when we turn our eyes off God. We will seek answers in the arms of another lover instead of praying with our mate. We will try to answer the problems of marriage through our own understanding instead of following God’s principles of commitment and fidelity that are found in His Word.
When will the family be saved? When the children of God get the guts to say that it is MY sin, MY neglect, MY avoidance of issues and MY refusal to live according to God’s Word. Let’s quit pointing the finger as someone else—it is our own fault, so let us act like it.
FAITH WILL MOVE MOUNTAINS AND KILL GIANTS
“IF YE HAD FAITH AS A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED, YE SHALL SAY TO THIS MOUNTAIN, REMOVE HENCE TO YONDER PLACE AND IT SHALL REMOVE, AND NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO YOU.” MATTHEW 17:20
It doesn’t take a lot of faith to make us powerful through God’s power. David had so much faith in God that he took five stones to defeat the giant Goliath. But he only had one stone for Goliath, and one stone for each of his sons, Ishbi-benob, Saph, Goliath Jr, and the one with 12 fingers and toes(2 Samuel 21:22).