by Maynard H. Belt — Reprinted with permission
“He….encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.” Acts 11:23
Sometimes I just don’t think that I have enough faith!
Yes, you heard me right. Sometimes I just don’t think that I have enough faith….especially when I read Hebrews Chapter 11. Do you ever feel like that? Here we are the spiritual leaders. We are supposed to always have enough faith. But when is enough, enough? Well, whenever I read Hebrews chapter 11, I always come away encouraged that I can have more faith, but I must be willing to be a follower of faith. If anything, this chapter always challenges me to the fact that faith is always on the move. It is not evident in the lives of those who stand still. And faith always seems to amaze!
When was the last time you were really amazed at something? Have you ever wondered what it might have taken to amaze Jesus? After all, He created the universe and has existed forever. He has seen everything! When He walked upon earth was He ever amazed by anything? Did He ever say, “Wow!” We do not read in Scriptures that He was ever astounded by any one’s righteousness, or any one’s wisdom. But if we read the Gospels carefully, we do see one thing that amazed our Lord – it was people’s faith! Remember when the Roman Centurion came to Him and asked that He might heal his servant and Jesus said, “Let’s go to your house,” and the Centurion said, “No, that isn’t necessary, just speak the word and he will be healed!” Luke 7:9, in essence says, “Jesus was amazed and said, I have not found such great faith in all of Israel!” Remember the Canaanite woman who came pleading to Jesus on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter and wouldn’t take no for an answer (Matt. 15:28)? Finally, Jesus said, you have great faith, your request is granted.
I would think today that “people’s faith” is still the only thing that amazes our Lord, and others as well. Which leads me to ask myself, and you, a very loaded question. How long has it been since anything has been accomplished in my life, my church, my community that can be attributed only to faith and would cause others to say with amazement, “Wow!” Do you see why I sometimes think that I just don’t have enough faith?
First, in reading Hebrews 11:1-3 we learn the basics of faith: faith is believing in God’s promises (vs. 1); faith is always related to God’s people (vs. 2); and faith is believing in God’s power (vs. 3). The rest of the chapter acquaints us with the activity of faith….it is always on the move, it always makes us do more. It challenges us to do things that we have never done before.
Abel (vs 4), in demonstrating faith, worshipped better than he had ever before. Enoch (vs. 5-6), found faith to take him further that he had ever gone before – right into the very presence of God. Noah (vs. 7), experienced that faith made him work harder and longer than he ever had before – 120 years! Abraham (vs. 8-19), in demonstrating his faith, did things he had never done before. He exercised faith when He did not know where he was going (vs. 8-10); when he did not know how a son could be born in Sarah’s old age; and when he didn’t fully understand why God would ask him to place the darling of his heart, Isaac, upon the altar. Isaac and Jacob (vs. 20-21), by faith planned ahead more than ever before. Joseph (vs. 22), by faith at death’s door, never lost sight of God’s promises, even under extreme circumstances. Moses (vs. 23-29), by faith gave up more things than he had ever done before. Joshua (vs. 30), by faith, walked more on the seventh day than he had ever walked before.
As I read Hebrews chapter 11, my only expression is, Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow!
I stand in amazement at what these people did by faith, and I feel so small, so insignificant, so inadequate in my faith! This chapter teaches me that God only works through faith and that when God wants a job done FAITH gets the contract! Jesus said to the blind men who asked to be healed, “Be it unto you according to your faith (Matt. 9:29).” Could it be that nothing is happening in my life, my church, my community that amazes anyone, or causes anyone to say (especially the Lord), “Wow” is because I am not exercising enough faith?
I want to have more faith, so I must pray with the disciples, “increase my faith, Lord.” If anything is going to happen, it must happen on my end. God is able, I must be willing. Though reading this chapter makes me feel so inadequate, it also challenges me to want to do more, be more, pray more. Faith always leaves a trail of progress so let’s keep moving on up!
from: THE BARNABAS FILE
Volume 3 Number 6
Michigan Association of Regular Baptist Churches