by Olu Talabi (based on RLCF Bible Study on October 14, 2015)
But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
As with all things, everything we have is a gift from God, including our faith. Scripture declares that without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is indeed the primary ingredient that leads us into a deeper experience of the goodness, power and knowledge of God. How shall a man proceed with God without a fundamental trust in Him, His goodness and an assurance that His Word is true?
A childlike trust in God delights His heart infinitely more than any work or gift that a man may present to Him outside of faith. Consider Cain and Abel. Cain’s offering may indeed have been larger than Abel’s, yet “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain” (Hebrews 11:4). Without faith in God, a man’s works remain just that….works deserving of no more than an expected wage. On the other hand, that borne out of faith not only delights God, but is accounted unto righteousness to him who bears the offering (Romans 4:4-5).
Faith requires a good measure of humility (Romans 12:3; Habakkuk 2:4). How shall a self-sufficient man depend on God? His strength, he imagines, is sufficient. But a man of faith is one who is helpless and realizes his need for help outside of himself…his need for help from God.
In Jesus’ analogy of faith as a mustard seed in Mathew 17:20 and Luke 17:6, we see a reference not only to a small object (the mustard seed), but also the life indwelling the seed. A small seed (or a large one for that matter) without life is unable to produce any fruit. The simple, childlike assurance the newest convert has in the goodness of God will do more to move the hand of God than the uncertain declarations of an undependable Christian who is twenty years in the faith. Yet, as we walk with Him, we deepen our experience of faith and the works of God.
Let us simply trust in God. Trust that God is good in all things, that He is good to us always, even when our senses declare otherwise. Consider Abraham who “being not weak in faith…… staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:19-21).
Let us look to Jesus Christ our Lord from whom our faith proceeds, in whom it is sustained, by whom it is effectual.