This year, this blog is exploring Fifty two of the gifts that God has given us. The gift we are discussing today is faith. How much does God give us? What exactly is faith? When the faith God gives us is all used up, can we get more? What is the value of faith anyway?
In Romans 12:3 In the King James the Apostle Paul writes
For I say through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, according as God has dealt to every man a measure of faith.
The word measure in the Strong’s is metron (3358) which means a limited portion.
In context with the rest of this passage, everyone is given a limited portion of faith. It also says that God gives this limited portion to every man. In order to have the full picture of faith, we all have to share our faith with those around us. There are no big I’s and little yous.
God gives every person a measure of faith. but what is faith?
Faith is. . .
According to the definition given in Hebrews 11:1
“Faith is the Substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
The translation from the original Greek to English leaves a lot to be desired.
According to the Strong’s Concordance, “faith” is the word pistis (4102). It comes from the word pitho (3982 in the Strong’s) which means to converse by argument true or false.
The word pistis therefore means persuasion, credence, conviction of religious truth, God’s truth, or the reliance of Christ for salvation.
Let’s move on to other relevant words in this passage.
“Substance” in the Greek is hupostats (5287) meaning supports, assurance, confidence, confident, substance. The word substance, in this passage basically means that it supports our holds up what we hope for. It is like a platform that we stand on.
The phrase “things hoped for” is the word el’pidzo (1679) meaning to expect or confide, to trust, from the word elpece (1680) meaning to anticipate with pleasure.
Finally we get to the word evidence (1650) el’engkhos in the Greek. This word means proof, conviction, evidence, reproof, the root word of this is el’engkho which is admonish, convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.
This passage therefore appears to be talking about unseen negative forces that we come against rather than other “things unseen” like future events or whatever.
Therefore, we could then translate this to passage to say:
Faith is the conviction of the truthfulness of God. It supports those things that we anticipate with pleasure. It is the evidence against unseen forces that come against us.
Faith is powerful!
I can almost hear you saying, “Yeah, but how much can it be worth if we only get a small measure of it?”
In Matthew 17:19-20, the disciples had just asked Jesus why they were not able to deliver a man from a demon. Jesus answered,
“Because of your unbelief. If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place and it shall remove and nothing shall be impossible for you.
When I read this, I get really excited because I realize that this is what we can do with just a single grain of faith. Imagine what we could do with a whole measure!
We are not limited to that one measure either. We can grow our faith. It says in Romans 10:17
“So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
The word hearing here (both times) is the Greek word akoe which means to “actively be listening”.
The phrase Word of God is Rhema. This Word is not the Bible although the Bible will back up the Rhema word. Rhema is God speaking to us. God can speak to us through the Bible, but he can use speak in other ways as well. He can be that small gut feeling that we know what we know. He can be a voice in a dream or a vision. He can be speaking to us through another person like a preacher.
Our faith should be planted in other people. When we look at Matthew chapter 13, we see that the Word of God is like a mustard seed. So faith is part of this because it too is like a grain of mustard seed. In the parable of the sower, we see that the Word can be planted and not produce any results. We can also plant it and it can grow so big that it can become a thousand times more than what it started out as. The results of our faith can become so much that by the time that we are done those birds that stole our faith from us in the beginning are now enjoying the fruits of that faith as well.
Faith is truly a remarkable gift. I thank the Lord for it!
Something new for Fridays
Since I have moved my dates of when I am doing my blog posts, it gives me a long stretch of four days when I don’t have anything posted. I don’t however want to write another blog so I decided that I would put a video blog up of a video that someone else has done about the writing process or book marketing. This way, you will be hearing writing ideas from a different perspective. These perspectives may or may not reflect the views of this blogs author.
Donna Brown is pastor at Faith in God Church 1 1/2 miles south of Brandsville, Missouri on Hwy 63. Sunday services are at 10 am and Wednesday night Bible Study at 6:30 pm. As Author Cygnet Brown, she has recently published her first nonfiction book: Simply Vegetable Gardening: Simple Organic Gardening Tips for the Beginning Gardener
She is also the author of historical fiction series The Locket Saga. which includes When God Turned His Head and Soldiers Don’t Cry, the Locket Saga Continues, and most recently, A Coward’s Solace, Book III of the Locket Saga