“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
How many verses containing wonderful promises have become so familiar that we fail to consider what they actually say? I suppose I’ve read Hebrews 11:6 dozens of times in my life but only recently have I given it any thought. When it comes to faith, it seems to me that the issue in the Bible is not how much faith a person has but do they have it at all? Without faith it is impossible to please Him. On the other hand, Jesus says in Luke 17:6 that if we have faith like a mustard seed we could command a tree to go jump in the sea and it will obey.
This distinction between “no faith” and “a little faith” is clear throughout the gospels. When Jesus returns home to Nazareth in Mark 6:1-6, he wonders at their unbelief and does only a handful of miracles there. On the other hand, Jesus in Matthew 15:21-28, who at first seems to have no intention of granting the Syrophoenician woman’s request, is moved to act by her persistence saying, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done as you wish.”
I think it is safe to say: where God finds just the smallest amount of faith He is willing to come rushing to the aid of His children to do more than they are able to ask or think. And yet, even the smallest amount of faith seems at times to be rare. Jesus asks in Luke 18:8, “When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on earth?” Truly faith is a wonderful and powerful gift from God to men. Those who live by faith will be a demonstration and an illustration of Hebrews 11:6. But faith is not to be taken for granted. More to come…