Yes, God has made me realise my utter incompetence to earn salvation through my works. I am brought to my knees when I think about this free gift of faith that is given by God. That there is now no condemnation and for just as Christ died, I have died to sin and now I am alive in Christ. I am now a follower of Christ and live for him and him alone. But! Why do I live as if I haven’t received this faith, I still continue my old sinful lifestyle as if nothing has changed? I still panic and am anxious when things are looking bad in my life. Where is my faith? How do I practice my faith and walk in the way of the Lord?
What is the nature of faith?
Well to answer that, we need to know what the nature of faith is. Is it something that comes into practice automatically, like the central heating once we set it to a certain temperature it just automatically heats up when needed or is it a conscious action that we need to continuously practice? The Bible answers that question in Luke 8:22-25.
“One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying,” Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him”Luke 8: 22-25
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Faith is an action
This is a well-known scenario where Jesus and His disciples were on a boat and a storm came and the disciples panicked and woke Jesus up. Jesus after rebuking the winds and the waves, He asked the disciples where their faith was. What is fascinating about this question is that where Jesus asks “Where is your faith?”, implies that Jesus knew that they had faith, as we all know is a gift from God, but where was it? The disciples didn’t practice their faith and instead panicked. If faith was an automatic thing that kicks in when we have trial and tribulation, the disciples wouldn’t have been in trouble in the first place. They wouldn’t have panicked and Jesus wouldn’t have needed to ask them, “where is your faith?”
The verses show us that faith isn’t passive but rather an action- it needs to be practised. The next question we should ask is, how do we practice our faith then? We are able to find the answer using the same few verses by observing what the disciples didn’t do.
Reminding ourselves who God is
The disciples saw the storm and as it grew heavier and heavier, they started to panic, and they didn’t realize that they didn’t really have a reason to panic because Jesus Christ was in the boat with them. They had forgotten the miracles, the love, and authority they witnessed first-hand and panicked as the trial came.
How often that is the case for us as Christians, when things are not going our way or things suddenly happen, we tend to forget what God has done throughout our lives and start panicking. How often do we forget all about God in our daily lives as we go about our lives as faithless people and put our faith for show only when Sunday comes?
That is the time we need to ask ourselves “Where is our faith?” and stop to remind ourselves of who God is. That He is all sovereign and nothing is beyond His control and He cares for His children, and remind ourselves of who we are. We are God’s children that are redeemed by the blood of Christ and we live for him. We are ambassadors of Christ, and “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.
May our faith dictate every action in our daily lives, and the key for doing so is through growing in understanding of who God is through the Bible. Building a relationship with Him and reminding ourselves constantly; What a great God we have.