What is Faith and where does the word “Faith” comes from?
Well the word faith was originally gotten from the Latin word” fides and Old French word feid”, which then simply means a confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept.
At almost every time we hear people asking different questions about FAITH like “do you have faith in God? Do you have faith in this person? Is your faith strong? Basically, faith has different definition and some examples of this definition are:
Faith simply means believing that something is true, and then committing our lives to it
Faith is Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Faith also mean strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than truth.
Faith could also be a feeling of trust that something will be successful, or that people will do what they promise.
The biblical definition of faith
As a Christian, the bible gives it’s definition of faith.
At Hebrew chapter 11:1 there the bible states that “Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen.“
No one has seen God for he is a spirit and for us to worship him in Truth and Spirit then, faith is the only connecting power into the spiritual realm, and this makes Him become real to us as a person. So faith is the basic ingredient to start a relationship with God and to draw close to him.
With faith, the things revealed and promised in his Word, the Bible, becomes true to us and we believe in it, even though unseen. It gives a conviction as a believer that what you expects in faith, will come to pass. Faith is the tangible essence of what is hoped for – so feasible that the faith itself, is the evidence/reality of those things that are not yet visible.
Where Does Faith Come From?
“By this undeserved kindness you have been saved through faith, and this is not of your own doing; rather, it is God’s gift”
Faith is a gift from God, a fruit of God’s spirit which he freely give to all those who seek for it.
Faith can only come from a new heart regenerated by God; therefore, faith is a gift from God. It is the way that God uses to bring salvation to his people.
Although it is impossible for one to have real faith without the accurate knowledge of the Truth from the bible, Rom.10:10 there says that “it is with the heart that one exercises faith“
How can you acquire faith
Our faith is strengthen when we read the Bible and hear the Gospel of Christ. You can’t just wake up one morning and say “O I have faith,” the account at Rom.10:17 says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” you must find out what the bible says as it will strengthen your conviction.
The more we immerse ourselves in truth, the more our confidence grows.
Our faith is also strengthen when we act on God’s promises and see the evidence of his wonderful blessing on the things he has done in the past and the present and the things he will do in the future. For us to acquire the faith, we need to take time to Know God and his ways of doing things.
For anyone to be saved, he or she needs to have faith, need to accept the free gift of faith God has given. For if you do so, you now believe that God is who He says He is, and you now trust Him in all things. Faith also helps to fight unwholesome thought, things that God detest, and motivates us to do what he desires us to do. Not only do we grow our faith by reading Scripture and praying in our own time, but also by hearing the message in church.
Practical Prayer Guide: You can Learn how to pray to God according to the bible
Another important thing you ought to remember is that when we have faith in things written and do not have faith in Jesus Christ the son of God, it means our faith isn’t put in God himself, this is so because our faith in Lord Jesus Christ shows that we accept God as his heavenly father and that it’s through him (Jesus Christ) our faith can be made strong, and our prayers can be heard.
Rom 5:1-2 “Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith, let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2. through whom we also have obtained access by faith into this undeserved kindness in which we now stand; and let us rejoice, based on hope of the glory of God”
Is there a different between faith and believe?
Faith and belief are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference. Belief is a strongly held opinion about an idea or worldview. Belief is a human guess or intuition about something that happens to turn out to be true.
Beliefs are also opinions that you form about what you read, hear or see, and because these things are physical, your Beliefs can change over time. The more you learn new things, the more your belief on something is reduced. For instance, many people today read the Bible and accept what is written in Scripture. This is a simple example of belief, believing in what you read.
But faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8)
Faith is not something you start and build from; faith can only be received, it must be given by God. True faith can take on doubts and questions, but it remains intact. With faith you move along with God’s agreements and guidance, it also involves God given direction.
Faith is a result of our hearing and then obediently responding to God’s guidance, even without seeing the reality of it, you obey, you trust and you listen.
You can believe there is a God, even that there is one God, but do you believe in his abilities? God produces faith in us by giving us new hearts and opening our eyes to see that He is our God and we need Him. Does your faith in God change the way you live your life?
There are some who say they believe in God, but the way they still live their life does not change; they still allow other things to mold by them. Faith changes how we live our lives, faith moves us to keep walking in the direction that God wants us to go. When you have faith In God you accept his discipline, his laws and his conditions which are not burden.
Let’s remind ourselves with the examples of Faithful ones in the bible who put there faith in God.
1. The woman with a flow of blood
During Jesus life here on Earth, he taught people about God and he cleanse, and heal people of all sort, while a certain man came to report to him about his dead son something very amazing happened. A woman with a flow of blood, who must have heard about all that Jesus had been doing, she believed all the signs and the miracles performed by Jesus but most importantly she had faith. Matthew 9:19-22 “Then Jesus got up and, with his disciples, followed him. And look! a woman suffering for 12 years from a flow of blood approached from behind and touched the fringe of his outer garment, for she kept saying to herself: “If I only touch his outer garment, I will get well.” Jesus turned around and, noticing her, said: “Take courage, daughter! Your faith has made you well.” And from that hour the woman was made well.”
Isn’t this a show display of faith! Her faith made her well.
Mary the mother of Jesus, she was faithful to God when she was chosen to be the mother of his son, despite the challenges that Mary knew would come with this responsibility, Mary trusted her God and had the faith that the role He had chosen for her, He will surely see her through.
“The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.’ ‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”
Abraham was a friend of God, he wasn’t just call that for no reason, he put faith in God even when he wasn’t sure of anything. When he was called to sacrifice his only son as a burnt offering, he didn’t question God or ask why, he had faith in God and believed that His ways are upright. So he set out the next morning after God told him where to go.
The account of Genesis 22:1-8 show how he did this.
“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’ Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.’ Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, ‘Father?’ ‘Yes, my son?’ Abraham replied. ‘The fire and wood are here,’ Isaac said, ‘but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ And the two of them went on together.”
4. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
This three jews had a very strong faith in God, they were familiar with his laws and they obeyed them even at a death point. They displayed there loyalty when they refused to bow down to another God aside there own, and they had faith when they were thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king. He never knew what would happen but doubt there God greatness.
“Shaʹdrach, Meʹshach, and A·bedʹne·go answered the king: “O Neb·u·chad·nezʹzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it must be, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the burning fiery furnace, O king, and to rescue us from your hand. But even if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold that you have set up”
“They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”
No doubt we all know Moses to be God’s servant. He did what God always ask him to do even when it seems difficult he obeys, he had faith when God asked him to lead the Israelite’s out of Egypt and across the red sea, away from everything they knew.
The account of Exdous14:10-14 shows how Moses displayed his unfailing faith towards his God believing he won’t fail him.
“As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’ Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
How to Grow in Faith in God
Below are 5 ways you can grow your Faith in God.
1. Ask God through prayers.
If you have it difficult to maintain grow your faith, the first thing to do is ask God for his grace to be able to help you put more faith in him and the things he has done, ask for more of it,and he will gladly give you his holy spirit, because he said in his word that he satisfied those who are thirsty for the truth and he will supply to you more faith .
2. Obey God.
We all comes from the offspring of Adam which makes us imperfect,and will always make mistake, God understand this, but if you focus on doing God’s will and obeying his commands, your faith will grow naturally,and you will see that his commands are not burdensome.
3. Spend time reading and hearing God’s word.
Spend time every day reading God’s word and soak it into your heart and mind. If your lifestyle is busy, listen to a sermon or a Christian podcast. Putting His word into your heart and soul will fortify your faith in the rough times.
4. Do not forsake your gathering together.
We are meant to worship together, encourage one another, pray together, and share our faith with each other.
When we hear others share there experiences it straightens our faith.
Also study the Bible together, encouraging each other in godly disciplines, and most importantly reach out to those who are deserving, teach them what you have learnt from God’s word the bible.
5. Spend time in fervent prayer.
Scheduling a specific time each day to spend with God in prayer makes a huge difference. This is your time alone with Him to discuss anything that is on your heart and mind. Be still and listen carefully and your faith will grow in abundance.
Faith without work is dead:
Was not Abraham, not declared righteous by work after he had offered up Issac his son upon the alter?
You know that his faith woked along with his work.
So as the body without spirit is dead so is faith without work.
If we do not obey God, we do not have faith in him. So clearly when we say we have faith in God, we should be able to live according to his ways even when it’s not suitable for us, even when we see new command or learn new things about him from his word, we should be willing to obey and remain loyal to him.
How to Keep the Faith alive.
1. Keep reflecting on God’s promises, meditate on his word, the bible, visualize on the examples and experiences of faithful ones in the bible, use them to create in you a strong relationship with God.
2. Do not rely on your own understanding. When are facing a hard time, don’t try to blame him Instead, ask Him for help and to change your circumstances. Let Him take the wheel and trust what He is going to do.
3. Be generous. God sees everything we do, giving our little will increase our faith. The Bible says even in times of trouble, we are to give. It might seem too hard to do, so giving make us feel like you have and you are now trusting in God to provide for you.
4. Read God’s word daily. Reading the scripture will help to maintain to draw close to him, this will help keep you grounded and not going in another direction due to confusions.
5. Stay close to friends and family who are God’s friends. One of the best things to do in hard times is to draw close to those who love you most. Friends who love God’s words are people you should reach out to in trial times. Sit down and discuss your situation, they will give you the encouragement you need.
Having faith means we are part of a covenant body of believers, a family of brothers and sisters, who are in Union with our faith in the things of God and in Christ Jesus.