The Bible calls us to walk by faith and not by sight, but did you know the Bible never tells us to have blind faith or to take a leap of faith? The kind of faith God calls us to might look radical but it’s always reasonable. We think that by taking just a quick look at scripture, we can discover why faith is important, what it really looks like, and then at the end I’ll give you 3 tips for how you can build your faith.
What is Faith Really About?
One of the most iconic chapters about faith in the Bible is Hebrews 11. It's sometimes called the Hall of Faith because we’re given a whole list of heroes who trusted and followed God.
At the beginning of the chapter we find one of the most famous verses about faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.”1
There's so much we can learn about faith from this verse. First, we can do many good things in life but one thing we can never do if we don’t have faith is please God. Without faith, it is impossible to please him. So faith is important! But what does it mean to have faith?
We find the answer in the next part of the verse: “Anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.”
Now this can be a little tricky but stay with me. Faith is not just believing God exists. Faith is coming to God. It’s choosing to diligently seek Him.
Of course you won't come to God if you don't believe that he exists. And you won’t diligently seek him if you don’t believe He’s going to reward you for it. So those things are important.
But you need to realize that faith is coming to God and it’s diligently seeking Him.
A Practical Example of Faith
One of my favorite stories from the Bible that illustrates this kind of faith is from Mark chapter 2. Jesus is in a house, teaching people the word of God. The place is packed, it’s standing room only.
Into this scene come four men carrying their friend, who’s laying on a stretcher because he’s paralyzed and can’t walk. They’re hoping Jesus can heal him.
But the crowd is so thick they can’t get to Jesus. But these friends don't give up. No, they pull their friend up on to the roof, make a hole in the ceiling and lower the stretcher down by ropes until their friend is hanging in the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.Talk about a showstopper.
They totally interrupted Jesus's teaching! But he wasn’t angry. Mark tells us when Jesus saw their faith, he stopped what he was doing and gave them his full attention.
That's an important phrase: Jesus saw their faith. He saw their determination to come to him, to diligently seek him. No crowd, no roof, no embarrassment over interrupting the teacher was going to stop these guys from getting their friend to Jesus. And boy did he reward them for their faith!
So now we can ask ourselves these important questions: Can Jesus see your faith? Are you diligently seeking him?
Tips to Build Your Faith
1. Surround yourself with people who will help you get closer to Jesus. Faith is not a solo journey. Just like the paralyzed man in the story we all need friends who will encourage and help us seek Jesus. But sometimes we have friends who do just the opposite, who distract or discourage us from seeking him. Choose your close friends wisely. Are they helping or hurting you in your faith?
2. Take the initiative to seek Jesus where he can be found. The paralyzed man and his friends didn't wait for Jesus to visit them. Remember, faith is you coming to God, it's you diligently seeking him. And we need to speak in where he can be found. When these men showed up they found Jesus teaching the words of God. Today we can find the words of God too, in the Scriptures. You’ll miss out on God if you don't get into the Bible!
3. Identify the obstacles that are keeping you from Jesus and overcome them. The man and his friends had to overcome many obstacles to get to Jesus. The crowd, the roof, the embarrassment, the physical difficulty of carrying the stretcher up on to the roof. Coming to God is rarely easy or convenient. That's why we have to diligently seek him. Think about it and write out a list: What are the obstacles that keep you from Jesus? How will you overcome them?
Join the Adventure!
There's no greater adventure than living a life of faith! And it's worth it. Walking by faith is what pleases God, and He promises to reward us when we diligently seek him.