Bible Reading: Romans 10:8-17
Faith comes from listening to this message of good news-the Good News about Christ. Romans 10: 17
WELCOME TO THE imaginary-yet entertaining-Carnival of Faith.
A guy in a shiny suit holds up ajar as he waves you over. “Ladies and gentlemen, gather around! Is your faith weak? Do you give up on God? Well, your days in the dumps are over. Introducing Faith-amins, the vitamin guaranteed to fire up your faith.”
A woman in another booth is skinned in neon Lycra. “Hey, get over here!” she orders. “That’s right, you with the puny faith muscles. You have· flab where you should have faith because you don’t work out. Twenty minutes a day on my patented Faith-asizer will build your trust tone and belief stamina.”
The next guy offers you a plate of what looks like twigs and bark. “Eat right. It’s as simple as that, folks. Eat from our Faith-Builder Diet, then watch your unwanted distrust and disbelief disappear.”
Here’s reality: You can’t get faith in a bottle. You can’t even hide faith in a tuna fish hot dish. Sure, you know faith is a vital and necessary quality in the Christian life. Hebrews 11:6 gets right in your face: “It is impossible to please God without faith.” Jesus praised people with great faith (see Matthew 8:10) and scolded people with small faith (see Luke 12:28). He promised that even mustard-seed-sized faith can move mountains (see Matthew 17:20). No wonder his disciples said to him, “We need more faith; tell us how to get it” (Luke 17 :5).
That’s the important question: How do you get more faith? Your spiritual life would be predictable and trouble-free if there was a special pill or plan that would increase your faith. But that’s not where faith comes from. Neil Anderson offers this great insight: “If you want your faith in God to increase, you must increase your understanding of Him as the object of your faith. If you have little knowledge of God and His Word, you will have little faith. If you have great knowledge of God and His Word, you will have great faith … The only way to increase your faith is to increase your knowledge of God, your faith-object.”· That’s why Paul wrote: “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17, NN).
Takes some of the mystery out of faith, doesn’t it? The more you know about God, the more you grow to trust him. And the more you are involved in the Bible reading, studying, memorizing, meditating-the more your knowledge of God grows.
The Word of God is your key.
REFLECT: What do think about a God who requires you to have faith-and then gives you his Word so you can know him and believe him? Cool, huh?
PRAY: Tell God what you think about him.
• Neil T. Anderson, Victory Over the Darkness (Eugene, Ore: Harvest House Publishers, 1990), 112.