By: Gary Hutchens
How does a person get faith? Why does one person have stronger faith than someone else? Why is the faith of some people so weak as compared to the faith of others? Where does faith come from?
It’d be interesting to hear the answers given by many on such a fundamental question. I’d not be surprised if a good number of people would actually be at something of a loss to give a definitive answer. I’m not sure that some people really know where faith comes from, and almost certainly a great many people who think they know, really do not.
Some people may think that faith is instinctive, something with which we are naturally born. For some, faith may well be more of a feeling. Others may think that faith just sort of happens to some people, whether they seek it or want it or not. This is almost akin to catching a cold or picking up a viral or bacterial infection, like an accident! Still other people believe that faith is a gift from God. The obvious follow-up question should be, “If faith is a gift from God, then why does God not give that gift to everyone?
In truth, faith is a product of a person’s learning, believing and living by the teachings of God’s word. The apostle Paul states, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). Basically, a person has to apply himself in order to develop faith. In some way, he has to go about the exercise of learning God’s word. That can be done through personal reading and study, or through study with someone else or through listening to God’s word being taught by someone else.
As a person learns God’s word, he must then make a decision as to whether or not he believes what he has learned. Even if he believes, that does not necessarily indicate that he possesses true faith. A person with true faith will obey the teachings he has learned and believed in God’s word (Jn. 14:15).
Obviously, the faith described in the Bible is not instinctive. It is not a feeling, nor does it just happen to some people. Neither is true faith a gift from God, in the sense that it is totally given by God with the recipient doing nothing on his part toward its development within himself.
In a real sense, faith is a process. First, it must be developed. Then, it must be nurtured and strengthened. The nurturing and strengthening is essential for faith to grow and be the directing and sustaining force within the true believer’s life that God intends it to be. The nurturing and strengthening is itself a lifelong process that never comes to an end (1 Cor. 16:13; Col. 1:22-23).
Knowing where faith comes from, it should be easy to recognize that the condition of your faith is up to you! Are you giving proper attention to the development and strengthening of your faith? Give this question great consideration, for the answer could determine your eternal destiny (2 Tim. 4:7-8)...
Gary L. Hutchens