* originally posted at Life and Limb Blog
We often hear when going through hard things phrases like “just have enough faith” or “simply believe.” We might hear “don’t lose faith” or “keep the faith;” but, what is faith and how do I know I have what it takes? I don’t know about you but phrases like this can often leave me discouraged no matter how well meaning my loved ones that speak them are.
This is a fun post for me because I get to introduce you to my favorite verse: Hebrews 11:1. “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you can’t see.” You’ll know you have enough faith: when you pray, because you prayed, and He then meets you the rest of the way.
When You Pray
When you pray, who are you praying to? When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He gave them a formulaic prayer to pattern the thoughts in their hearts after when petitioning to the Lord. It’s interesting that He starts it out with “Our Father who art in heaven”. Or is it? Hebrews 11:6, shortly after my favorite verse, states “but without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Without this very simple but profound first element of what has been come to be known as The Lord’s Prayer, our prayers are useless. We must acknowledge and profess our belief if only in our fragile and weak hearts.
The good news is if you bring yourself to pray at all, we know you’re not crazy, so you must believe you’re praying to somebody! You must believe that somebody has the power to intervene in and change your situation! You must believe He exists and may actually wanna help a bruthA or sistA out! The very fact that you are in an attitude bent in prayer and that you have even an inkling of hope you’re not crazy and your breath won’t be wasted is enough to please God. Why?
Because You Prayed
Because you had even a mustard seed sized amount of faith to even squeak out a prayer, to address God as your father in heaven. Jesus again says in Matthew, this time in chapter 17, “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can tell this mountain to up and move and it will do it”. There’s another spot in scripture we’ve seen such mustard size faith play out with huge dividends!
Remember the story of the bleeding woman? Matthew 9 tells the story.“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’
22 Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.”’And the woman was healed at that moment.” All she had was the hope of touching Him. That’s it. It was that small amount of faith that Jesus said healed her.
He Meets You the Rest of the Way
We also know we have enough faith, when even though we move forward in faith just a little, God meets us the rest of the way. He makes the big effort. Look again at the bleeding woman – all she did was reach out and touch. It was Jesus that healed, stopped what He was doing in the midst of the busy crowd as He was on His way to heal someone else and acknowledged her, then encouraged her that it was her faith that healed her! Amazing! James 4:8 tells us “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I firmly believe that if you even take half a baby step, He will run however many zillion miles left that there is at full speed to meet you in that moment.
It doesn’t take a lot of faith to move God on our behalf because He is so crazy in love with us. He just wants to see your lovely face look up in His direction with even a little expectancy. That’s it! What do you have faith for today?