How do we start believing in Jesus Christ? Those who have had an encounter with Jesus can surely tell us about their start. But what about the born Christians and believers who do not have a special kind of encounter with Jesus Christ?
In the absence of the rich and graceful experience, many need evidences to believe Jesus is Christ and subsequently to receive healing/blessing, thus restricting their level of faith to hope. They put their ‘faith’ on Christ while listening to the testimony or witnessing a miracle in someone’s life. They get accustomed to always needing a precedent to ignite their faith. Knowingly or unknowingly, they are building their faith on evidence. This does not please Jesus and we see him pointing out the same to the royal official in the verse below
“Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” – John 4:48
Some develop a strong belief out of peer pressure to deny all possible relief that enables them to get out of their condition, and they assume it as their faith. The same attitude is called blind faith in the secular world. Some people understand the Bible in flesh without the leading of the Holy Spirit, the author of the Bible, and try to implement everything written in the Bible in the wrong context which jeopardizes their so-called faith.
Faith by Grace
Christian faith is often regarded by common people as unreasonable. This unreasonable faith in some people gets transformed by grace into a reasonable faith.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18
The redemption plan is of God’s wisdom and it is beyond man’s knowledge. Salvation belongs to the Lord and it is received by grace through faith.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
In Romans 9, Paul gives us an illustration of God choosing Jacob even before he was born to prove that it is not by deeds but only by grace. But we try to earn our faith. We are surprised when we read 1 Corinthians 12:9 where it is written that faith is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We desire to receive the gifts of the Spirit and forget the gift of faith. When faith is neglected, it is impossible for us to please God.
And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. – Hebrews 11:6
When we do not understand faith as a gift from God, we do not receive it and as a result could not please God through our lives. Faith brings salvation to us and it pleases God.
When faith is earmarked to us by God, we should allow God to operate it without any hesitations. Faith is about trusting the unseen God and His intangible deeds. Believing in God’s sacrifice of His only Son on the cross as an atonement for our sins, acquits us from the death penalty and assures us of eternal life. That belief is what faith offers us. This can only be a feeling to experience the heavy burden of our sin and its accrued fear vanishing away from our lives. Unfortunately, it is not tangible either to the person experiencing it nor to anyone next to him. Believing in this unseen work accomplishes faith in one’s life. This is not based on tangible evidence, but a spiritual conviction experienced by an individual. This faith comes from hearing the word of God. The more we start hearing and owning the word, faith will be accomplished in us.
Owning the word does not mean just reading about Paul’s struggles but we should align his experiences with our lives and our situations. We are more occupied in admiring the situation of the Biblical authors and try to teach others to follow their footsteps. Without owning their experiences, we cannot have their faith.
It is written: “I believed; therefore, I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, …. – 2 Corinthians 4:13
Jesus is our pioneer (author) and perfecter (finisher) of our faith. Devil is a liar and instills fear in our minds. Whether it is faith or fear, it will be fulfilled by God. That is why the Psalmist said, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). In other words, if fear occupies our hearts, then the same will also be fulfilled in our lives.
What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me. – Job 3:25
Whenever Satan gives fear and doubt to mankind because of their imperfect life, God increases His grace to protect our feeble faith.
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, – Romans 5:20
Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. – Luke 22:31-32
With our faith enhanced by Jesus, we should learn to walk in truth rather than depending on grace forever. The more we walk in truth, less grace is required and that’s the crux of our faith. We will have an assurance that our sins are forgiven. Holistic healing and deliverance will start taking place in our lives and a long-awaited justice will be pronounced to us.
Mercy and truth are met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. – Psalms 85:10