Faith is a topic we can study over and over and every time learn something new. We have written about faith previously: Living by faith…when our faith is tested and Faith is something you do! We know that our faith will be tested and that faith without works is dead, but we want to expand on this. I have lots of questions about faith. Why don’t we as believers have the same amount of faith? Where does faith originate from? Is it something we are to work at or do we ask YHVH to increase it? Why do we sometimes have much while other times less. I sometimes experience that I lack faith. If this happens, what am I to do? So, this is what this study is about.
Let’s first define faith.
What is faith?
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
The key is in the word “assurance.”To have faith is to know the outcome would be best for us whatever it may be. Faith is “know-so” instead of “hope-so.” A few years ago my neighbor was terminally ill with cancer. She was an elderly lady and I visited her often. About two weeks before she died, she told me that she did not know where she would be going when she dies. She doubted because she was told that it was too late for her. I asked her if she wanted me to pray with her. I explained to her that YHVH will forgive us when we repent and remove our sin from us. She prayed with me for the forgiveness of her sin. However, afterward, when we talked about it, she said she hoped her sin was forgiven. She could not bring herself to a point of trusting that it was. She felt she didn’t deserve forgiveness after having lived her life the way she did. That was so incredibly sad.
Faith is having that assurance, not a faint hope, but knowing with every fiber of your being that the outcome will be what is best for you.
28 And we know that Elohim causes all things to work together for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose.
When we chose to follow YHVH, we became those who are called according to His purpose. He will therefore cause all things to work together for good for us.
When Y’shua healed people, they had that assurance.
29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.”
How often don’t we choose to believe the negative instead of having that assurance that the outcome will be best for us. These blind men, who were healed here could have chosen to hope that Y’shua would heal them, but without the assurance. The outcome would have been different.
The same is true for the woman who touched Y’shua’s tzit-tzit.
22 But Y’shua turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.
The centurion whose servant was healed was commended by Y’shua for having great faith.
10 Now when Y’shua heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.
Y’shua said that it shall be as he has believed.
13 And Y’shua said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.
Why did they have this assurance and what made the centurion’s faith “great?”
The answer is that they have heard what He had done for others, and believed that He could do the same for them. Faith came by hearing.
17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah.
So, why did Y’shua specifically commended the centurion for his faith? The centurion said Y’shua only needed to say the word and his servant would be healed. He proceeded by explaining the authority structure he was part of as a centurion. How he would instruct them, and they would obey. His authority was such that they would would take him at his word. So, his great faith was taking Y’shua at His word.
Taking YHVH at His word
Faith comes by hearing and taking YHVH at His word.
When we read Hebrews 11:1-40, also known as the hall of faith, we read how each of these people took YHVH at His word and did what He commanded. That is what faith is.
Noah took YHVH at His word and built an ark. He was probably ridiculed for it because it seemed so incredibly far-fetched, but he did it. Abraham left his family and moved to a land he did not know. He believed YHVH, he took Him at His word. Of Sarah it is said that she considered Him faithful who promised. She took YHVH at his word.
There are many more examples for us of how people took YHVH at His word. We are to do the same, we are to take YHVH at His word and obey Him.
This sounds incredibly easy, but is it? How can we just believe? The answer is twofold. We are given a measure of faith, and we have to know YHVH. Allow me to explain.
To each a measure of faith is given
To each of us a measure of faith is given.
3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as Elohim has allotted to each a measure of faith.
According to this verse YHVH allots an amount and pattern of trust to each of us. He knows what we need. The question is can we do anything to increase this faith.
5 The apostles said to YHVH, “Increase our faith!” 6 And Y’shua said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.
As they express their sense of the weakness, and imperfection of their faith; and their great desire to have it increased, which might be for their comfort, and his glory; so they acknowledge his divine power, and that he is the author and finisher of faith; and that as the beginning, so the increase of it is from him: wherefore faith is not of a man’s self, or the produce of man’s freewill and power, but is the gift of God; and even where it is, it is not in man to increase it, or add to it, or to draw it forth into exercise; this also is the operation of God. And if the apostles had need to put up such a petition to Christ, much more reason have other men. 3
2 fixing our eyes on Y’shua, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of Elohim.
The second, but actually more important part of the answer is knowing YHVH. We learn YHVH’s character through His word and what He has done, for us and for others. So, our faith is built up by our regenerating of our minds by studying and learning scripture as well as reflex ion on what YHVH has done for us or for others.
This is why Scripture memorization … having YHVH’s Word in our hearts… is so incredibly important. When we have a relationship with another person, we learn their character and trust them based on their integrity. It is the same when we have a relationship with YHVH. Only difference is He will never fail us. Based on this knowledge, we can take him at His word.
There are times when more faith is required. I believe this is where the gift of faith comes in.
Faith is also a gift of the Holy Spirit
1 Corinthians 12:7–10
7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
This is all very interesting, but did you know that our faith is not only for ourselves. The faith manifesting in our lives is for uplifting of the body, but more so for YHVH’s glory.
All for YHVH’s glory
All we do and all we are here on earth is for His glory and His Kingdom.
1 Peter 4:11
11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of Elohim; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which Elohim supplies; so that in all things Elohim may be glorified through Y’shua Messiah, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Did we answer the questions? We have learned that faith originates with YHVH as He gives to each a measure of faith.
Faith is taking YHVH at His word. This is possible if we have a trusting relationship with Him. We get to know YHVH through his word when we study His word. We also get to know YHVH through our experiences with Him, like when He answers our prayers and when He does not, also when He speaks to us. All this builds our faith.
We have also learned that our faith is ultimately for YHVH’s glory.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD, and Y’shua for Jesus.
- Stern, D. H. (1996). Jewish New Testament Commentary : a companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed., Ro 12:3). Clarksville: Jewish New Testament Publications.
- Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible http://biblehub.com/luke/17-5.htm
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